August 16, 2006

Father-in-law of Landis commits suicide

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The father-in-law of disgraced Tour
de France winner Floyd Landis has committed suicide, police
said on Wednesday.

David Witt, 57, the stepfather of Landis' wife, Amber, died
on Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, San
Diego Police said.

"The Landis family is devastated by the news of David's
death," said Michael Henson, a spokesman for Floyd Landis.
"They loved him dearly and they miss him. They hope that their
privacy is respected in this time of mourning."

Police said Witt, of La Mesa, California, was discovered at
3:05 p.m. (6:05 p.m. EDT/2205 GMT) in a parking structure in
the North Park section of San Diego. He was rushed to the
hospital but died of the single gunshot wound about 7 hours
after he was found.

Landis captured the prestigious Tour de France last month
but ultimately tested positive for abnormally high levels of
the male sex hormone testosterone.

The Murrieta, California, resident had produced one of the
greatest solo rides in Tour history to win the 17th stage of
cycling's biggest race after falling more than eight minutes
behind during the previous stage.

Landis' team, Phonak, fired him after his second B sample
tested positive for testosterone this month, and it appears
likely he will become the first winner in the 103-year history
of the Tour to be stripped of his title.

Witt, a San Diego restaurant owner with his wife Rose, was
at the finish line in Paris when Landis won the race.

Police said they were unaware of any suicide note left by