One of the sponsors of the international cycling union (UCI) is suing the organisation for $2 million, claiming it mismanaged the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.
The action has been launched by Australian sports clothing company Skins, which has sponsored world cycling for five years.
The legal action claims UCI president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen are responsible for a "total loss of confidence in professional cycling by the public".
"Cycling has not been the sport the general public and the corporate partners thought it was" - Skins
Skins chairman Jaimie Fuller said the company had believed cycling had "fundamentally reformed" after the Festina scandal in the 1990s but that had proven to not be the case.
The statement said: "The events of the last several months have made it abundantly clear that world cycling has not been the sport the general public and the corporate partners thought it was.
"Consequently, as chairman of a company that has made a significant financial and emotional investment, I am acting in order to send a message to the UCI and its senior office bearers that gross mismanagement and betrayal of trust is completely unacceptable.
It says the recent USADA report - which claimed Lance Armstrong was part of the most sophisticated doping programme in sports - proved that the UCI had failed to eradicate cheating within the sport.
The legal action claims the leading figures in the UCI - Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen - had refused to even acknowledge that the problem was so entrenched until USADA forced them into submission.
"In short, we say that the UCI, Mr McQuaid and Mr Verbruggen have failed us, the sport and the public who love cycling."
Skins are using the law firm of Cedric Aguet, who is also representing Paul Kimmage, the former cyclist and writer who has lodged a criminal complaint against McQuaid and Verbruggen.