Sportswear company Skins is suing cycling’s governing body for $2 million, claiming its brand has been damaged by backing the sport as the Lance Armstrong doping scandal unraveled, the AP reports. Skins, which was founded in Australia and is based in Switzerland, has sponsored cycling teams and riders for five years, and supplied race suits for the United States at the London Olympics.
While Skins has never sponsored Armstrong or the UCI, it wants compensation for the damage it says it has suffered by investing in a sport “tarnished” by doping.
Skins was under the illusion that professional cycling had been fundamentally reformed to contain doping and to minimize the risks of scandals with which the brand of any sponsor could be associated.
- Skins Attorney Cedric Aguet
The UCI recently agreed to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life, following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.
UCI President Pat McQuaid has agreed to create a commission to examine allegations about the governing body’s conduct raised by USADA, including that Armstrong donated $125,000 in exchange for covering up suspicious doping tests.
Skins chairman Jaimie Fuller said cycling now “commands little or no trust or respect from the general public.”