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Skins files law suit against UCI over Armstrong scandal

Skins files law suit against UCI over Armstrong scandal
November 6, 2012

Australian performance clothing brand Skins has filed a law suit against the International Cycling Union (UCI) seeking $US2 million in damages and alleging the sport's governing body lacked leadership in the fight against doping.

In a press release Skins explained "the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has been served with a demand for $2 million by leading sports compression wear company SKINS, seeking damages caused by alleged mismanagement and the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

"Skins, which has been a commercial supporter of world cycling for the last five years, has also cited UCI President Pat McQuaid and honorary president for life, Hein Verbruggen for their handling of a crisis which Skins alleges is the main cause for the significant loss of confidence in professional cycling by the public and harms the company's international reputation as a consequence."

Skins Chairman Jaimie Fuller told ABC Grandstand the legal action came out of frustration Skins has had with cycling's governing body.

Fuller explained "I published a couple of weeks ago an open letter to the president of the UCI, Pat McQuaid, begging him for decisive, quick action and explanations as to how all this has come about.

"Unfortunately all we've heard from Pat McQuaid has been the bare minimum for what he's been able to do.

"This has come about out of pure desperation to try and get some action from those guys and try to get some change because I can't see us moving forward without understanding exactly what went on, who knew what and when and what did they do about or what didn't they do about it.

"And that's not going to come about through the UCI investigating themselves. This is my attempt to push for change and to agitate as much as I can."

Fuller says the company is hoping to reach out to other sponsors to boycott cycling until real change eventuates, adding "my next steps are to reach out to some of the other sponsors such as Rabobank and see what we can do together.

"I wouldn't be surprised if this turns into a class action. I've been inundated with responses and feedback from people since I started this activity a couple of weeks ago.

"What we're dealing with is a bunch of guys who are not accountable and I think unless we have a movement like this, I think they're just going to sit there and treat everybody with disdain and do what they want to do when they want to do it."

The UCI has come under heavy criticism for its handling of anti-doping in the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal.

Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) published a report claiming the Texan had used performance-enhancing drugs and organised doping to build his success.



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