Swiss judge upholds UCI’s anti-defamation suit against Floyd Landis

A Swiss judge has returned a judgement against in the ’s defamation case against him. If you want any indication of how the will likely handle the evidence from and how they will proceed in their case, you only need read the judgement, which forbids Landis from stating:

“…that the , Patrick (Pat) McQuaid and/or Henricus (Hein) Verbruggen have concealed cases of , received money for doing so, have accepted money from to conceal a case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of , have engaged in manipulation, particularly of tests and races, have hesitated and delayed publishing the results of a positive test on , 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…”

The language in the ruling is strongly in favor of the . Wikipedia defines defamation as:

“the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individualbusinessproductgroupgovernmentreligion, or nation a negative or inferior image.”

Sure, the first part of the statement (“…have concealed cases of , received money for doing so, have accepted money from to conceal a case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of , have engaged in manipulation…) could be seen as defamatory. I have to question how much effort they put into the decision, however, when they repeat “concealed cases of ” in paragraph II.

That said, that the ruling would explicitly forbid Landis from stating that McQuaid and Verbruggen “…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…” says a lot about the nature of the decision. While these statements could be taken as inflammatory and hurtful insults, I don’t think that any reasonable person would fail to see that they are opinions, not statement of facts. You would not have to go far in the blogosphere to find a large number of people who feel the same way about the .

Meanwhile the evidence against the continues to mount. A recent article in the London Sunday Times says the the most definitely covered up a 2001 positive of ’s. Also, it’s pretty clear to anyone who follows cycling that the sat on ’s positive test for months before being forced to take action.

Landis will have to pay court costs and damages as a result of the ruling and will have to “present operative provisions” (apologies?) in the Wall Street Journal, L’Equipe, , Velo News, Velo Nation and other media outlets.

With ’s Reasoned Decision on depending on Landis, and others, I think its safe to say that the will dismiss their decision out of hand.

The decision from the Swiss court can be found here: http://www.bikeworldnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Judgment-Floyd-Landis-EN.pdf

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