Floyd Landis hires LeMond lawyer: report

UCI asks Landis to stop comment on Verbruggen

Floyd Landis, who last month admitted doping throughout his cycling career and accused Lance Armstrong and others, has hired a law firm that once represented US cyclist Greg LeMond, the New York Daily News reported.

Landis, formerly of US Postal and Phonak, caused a sensation last month when he admitted to doping prior to being stripped of his Tour de France crown in 2006.

The American also accused seven-times Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, among other former teammates at the now defunct US Postal team, and the team's manager Johan Bruyneel, not only of doping but also conspiring with an International Cycling Union official to have a positive Armstrong test suppressed.

Armstrong and Bruyneel have categorically denied all the accusations.

The newspaper cited "two people with knowledge of the situation" as saying Landis has received a "strongly-worded" letter from the office of Hein Verbruggen, a former president of the UCI who was accused by Landis of colluding to suppress a positive drug test for Armstrong.

Pat McQuaid, who took over as president of the UCI in 2006, confirmed that the letter had been sent from UCI's general counsel.

"They are asking him to cease and desist from making statements he's made about Mr. Verbruggen in the past few weeks because they are not true," McQuaid told the Daily News on Monday, according to a story posted on the newspaper's website.

The Daily News said that Landis has hired the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, a firm that represented three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond in various lawsuits, including a recent dispute with the Trek Bicycling Corporation.

"He's our client," Mark Handfelt, a partner at the firm, told the newspaper.

According to the newspaper, a team of lawyers from the firm will advise Landis in the event he faces a criminal case or defamation lawsuit.

© AFP 2010

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