Skins chairman Fuller says any damages secured in legal action against UCI will go back into clean cycling
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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Skins chairman Fuller says any damages secured in legal action against UCI will go back into clean cycling

by VeloNation Press at 8:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
“I have absolutely no interest in Skins landing a commercial windfall from this action”

SkinsSpeaking on his company’s decision to sue the UCI for two million US dollars, Skins chairman Jaimie Fuller has rejected suggestions that the legal move is a money-making or publicity-seeking exercise, and has pledged to donate any money secured to the fight against doping.

In a letter printed on the sports clothing company’s website, Fuller thanked those who had supported the move, and sought to clarify Skins’ position for those who questioned it.

‘I’ve had messages criticising us – and me personally – for what they see as a brazen attempt to gain publicity and to make money out of cycling’s current crisis. So I want to make our position absolutely clear,” he wrote. “Any financial gain that SKINS may be awarded from a successful lawsuit against the UCI will be put straight back into clean cycling.”

Last month, Fuller called on current UCI president Pat McQuaid to either radically overhaul cycling and give it a fresh start, or to stand down. “The Lance Armstrong scandal has exposed the sport to an embarrassing level of global disrepute,” he said then. “In short, world cycling is a mess and as President of the UCI, you and those of your colleagues charged with its executive management, must act now to restore confidence in world cycling or withdraw from office.”

Fuller said that Skins and other companies had invested ‘considerable amounts of time and money’ into the sport and that they had been left exposed by how the sport had been run.

Skins subsequently launched legal action against the UCI, via the lawyer Cédric Aguet. The latter is also representing the journalist Paul Kimmage in his criminal complaint against the UCI, also lodged in Switzerland.

Skins’ suit said that the way the UCI had organized its anti-doping structure, their communications in that area and then the way they dealt with the Armstrong case is “the main cause for the total loss of confidence in professional cycling by the public, which harms SKINS, as well as any other sponsor or supplier.” Aguet estimated the damages to the company as exceeding $2 million.

In his most recent message on the matter, Fuller said that making money from the suit was not the goal. “I have absolutely no interest in SKINS landing a commercial windfall from this action,” he wrote. “As Chairman of a company that has invested in cycling, I simply want the sport to be governed the way it should be and led by credible, honourable people who can be trusted to clean it up. It really is as simple as that.”

Fuller thanked those who have backed the company’s stand, and said that he accepted that others had rejected the company’s action and position.

“Some people have written to tell me that despite being ‘loyal customers’ they’ll never buy another garment. You know what? That’s fine,” he wrote. “I see it as a cost worth paying if it fuels the debate and is an agent for change. Even if I can’t persuade the doubters that our intentions are genuine, I can handle it. When athletes buy our product, we like to think they’re buying into our ethos of clean, true spirited competition.”

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