Lance Armstrong’s former team mate and current foe, Floyd Landis, suffered another legal blow; a Swiss court issued a “judgment by default” against the ex-cycler in a defamation lawsuit filed by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI).
The case stems from accusations made by Landis that the UCI entered into an unlawful agreement with Lance Armstrong, in which Armstrong would make a large donation to the union in exchange for them over-looking a dirty doping test. In 2011, a cease and desist defamation letter was sent to Landis which instructed him to stop making disparaging claims against the “UCI and its past and former presidents, Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.” It also insisted that Landis stop making accusations that the group concealed doping cases within the pro-cycling community.
Swiss Judge Catherine Piguet ruled:
“stating that the UCI, McQuaid and/or Verbruggen have concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so, have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of doping, have engaged in manipulation, particularly of tests and races, have hesitated and delayed publishing the results of a positive test on Alberto Contador, have accepted bribes, are corrupt, are terrorists, have no regard for the rules, load the dice, are fools, do not have a genuine desire to restore discipline to cycling, are full of shit, are clowns, their words are worthless, are liars, are no different to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, or to make any similar other allegations of that kind.”
Adding insult to injury, Piguet also ruled that Mr. Landis must:
- Also pay for retractions in several publications;
- Pay McQuaid and Verbruggen about $10,500 each;
- Pay about $5,000 in court and legal fees
If, however, Landis does not challenge the judgment within 10 days of issuance, those payments may be lowered.
Landis can’t be too pleased about the Swiss court’s ruling in this defamation lawsuit. Not only does the judgment, in it of itself, amount to a hefty sum, but it comes when Landis is already working to pay off $500,000 in another case involving doping fraud.
Landis’ defamation lawsuit was handed down in a Swiss court. In case you were curious, Swiss defamation law largely favors freedom of the press and free speech. To learn more about international defamation laws, check out the Kelly Warner Law International Defamation Law Database.