August 1, 2006

Landis will learn fate on Saturday, say UCI

By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who
tested positive for testosterone on his way to victory in
cycling's showpiece event, will know on Saturday if the
counter-analysis he has requested confirms the result. "On
Saturday morning, we should know, that is what the French
laboratory told us," International Cycling Union (UCI)
spokesman Enrico Capani told Reuters by telephone on Tuesday.

The sample will be tested at the Laboratoire National de
Depistage du Dopage (LNDD).

"Yesterday afternoon we have asked them to analyze the B
sample because Mr Landis had not asked them to do so," he

"The laboratory will communicate the results to the Phonak
team and to us."

If the positive test were confirmed, the American would be
stripped of his Tour victory and Oscar Pereiro Sio of Spain,
who finished second overall in this month's race, would be
declared the winner.


It would be the first time in the history of the sport's
biggest event that a Tour winner has been disqualified for

His Phonak team said Landis would be dismissed if the B
result was also positive.

The American, who has denied any wrongdoing and said his
body naturally produced high levels of testosterone, has said
he intended to continue racing once he has had an operation on
his hip.

The 30-year-old tested positive for the male sex hormone
after an astounding comeback in the last mountain stage of this
year's Tour in the French Alps, just a day after a very poor
performance which all but knocked him out of contention.

If the positive test is confirmed, USA Cycling, the
American federation, would have a month to make a ruling, the
most likely decision being a two-year ban.

Landis's lawyers could then take the matter to the Court of
Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and a long procedure would begin.

Testosterone can speed up recovery after exercise and
generally improves stamina and strength.