Friday, September 21, 2007

Landis stripped of Tour title; appeal uncertain

Landis: 'I am innocent and we proved I am innocent.'
By Charles Pelkey
Filed: September 20, 2007
American Floyd Landis has been formally stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after an arbitration panel ruled against his appeal of a positive doping test during that year's edition of the race.

Two of three panel members said this win was dirty.

photo: Agence France Presse (2006 file photo)

Landis still has the option to appeal the case to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport, but the UCI on Thursday formally awarded the 2006 Tour title to Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, the Caisse d'Epargne rider who finished second. Landis becomes the first Tour winner in more than 100 years to be stripped of his title, and he now faces a two-year suspension from racing and an additional two-year exclusion from ProTour ranks.

"This ruling is a blow to athletes and cyclists everywhere," Landis said in a statement. "For the panel to find in favor of USADA when, with respect to so many issues, USADA did not manage to prove even the most basic parts of their case, shows that this system is fundamentally flawed.

"I am innocent and we proved I am innocent."

UCI president Pat McQuaid saw things otherwise.

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