Shorts: Lefévre, Peta, BlatterClose
Patrick Lefévre gets the verdict against Omega Pharma, Petacchi gets hitched, Blatter gets blastedPICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefvre has won his case against the Omega Pharma company who backed his team through their Davitamon marque this past season. A Kortrijk court ruled that Omega will have to pay Lefvre's company sponsorship arrears of 1.095 million euros, although Omega have indicated that they are likely to appeal against the decision. Lefvre and Omega Pharma took legal action against each other earlier this year, the former for non-payment of sponsorship money owed and the latter for damages after a premature breaking of a sponsorship contract on July 30. Lefvre sent a letter to Omega Pharma on July 30 prematurely ending their contract after it was made apparent to him that the company was not willing to increase its budgetary input in order to accommodate the introduction of the ProTour. After receiving this letter, Omega launched a suit of their own demanding 7.5 million euros for damages and interest resulting from the breaking of the contract. This complaint was rejected, although the court also ruled that Lefvre's letter to Omega was not a valid way of terminating the contract between both parties. - Our congratulations go to Alessandro Petacchi, who married his girlfriend, Anna Chiara Antonini, in a civil ceremony in Viareggio on Thursday afternoon. - The Association of Professional Cyclists (PCA) and its Italian affiliate have released a dismissive statement in response to comments suggesting widespread doping within cycling that were made by the president of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), Sepp Blatter. In an interview published in Italy earlier this week, Blatter said: "How is it possible for a rider to compete in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in the same year? It requires a superhuman effort that demands external aids." The PCA's statement in response expressed its "disappointment with the amazing declarations made by FIFA's highest official. Almost no rider takes part in the three major tours in one season. A leader of his standing should look at the facts before giving an opinion on events outside their sphere of interest. We consider Blatter's words to be the fruit of disinformation or of bad faith. It is unfortunate that a man of his standing has lowered himself to making unjustified accusations." A subsequent statement from the Italian association of team managers suggested that Blatter should get his own house in order before making accusations about other sports. A recent judicial inquiry in Turin ruled that members of the Juventus football team that won a number of domestic and international titles in the mid-1990s had benefited from illegal medical assistance. Although members of the team's medical staff have received sentences as a result of this inquiry, no charges have yet been laid against any of the players who it has been alleged were involved.