Floyd Landis: 2 year ban - Oscar Pereiro winner of the 2006 Tour de France

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23.09.2007/ On Thursday US rider Floyd Landis lost his appeal at the American Arbitration Association  against a two year ban after being tested positive after stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France. The UCI declared Oscar Pereiro as winner of the 2006 edition of the Tour de France.

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Floyd Landis during last years prologue of the Tour de France (Picture: Cyclingheroes)

In a statement of September 20 the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) announced that Landis wilreceive a two year suspension for taking performance enhancing drugs during the 2006 edition of the Tour de France, which was won by Floyd Landis.
The statement says: "Following a nine-day evidentiary hearing and a lengthy post-hearing review of all the evidence and testimony submitted, the majority of the independent panel of arbitrators from the American Arbitration Association (AAA)/North American Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) found that the sample provided by Landis after his Stage 17 victory was positive for exogenous testosterone."
According to Australian based website"The three member arbitration panel, led by president Patrice Brunet along with Christopher Campbell and Richard McLaren, was split 2-1 in the guilty verdict, with Campbell dissenting."

The USADA staement also says: "As a result of his doping violation, Landis received a two-year suspension and forfeits his first-place finish in the 2006 Tour de France and all related prize money."

This  was confirmed one day later, on Friday September 21 by the UCI. In a statement the world cycling body said: "Following the decision of the competent American authority to sanction the American cyclist Floyd Landis for doping, and in accordance with the International Cycling Union’s regulation, the Spanish rider Oscar Pereiro is declared winner of the 2006 Tour de France."

"Today’s ruling is a victory for all clean athletes and everyone who values fair and honest competition," said USADA Chief Executive Officer Travis T. Tygart. "This decision confirms for the overwhelming majority of American athletes who compete ethically that USADA is committed to protecting their right to participate on a drug-free playing field."

Tygart continued by saying: "This case is really just another sad example of the crisis of character which plagues some of today’s athletes and undermines the honest achievements of all of those athletes who compete with integrity. Hopefully, some of the good that comes from this type of case is that other athletes who might be tempted to cheat will recognize that there is no honor in doping to win."

Tygart added: "Here, despite the intense pressure applied by Mr. Landis and his high-priced legal and public relations team, we knew that doing what was right required staying the course and fulfilling our duty to clean athletes. USADA brought the case against Mr. Landis because, as the independent panel confirmed today, the scientific evidence established that he had committed a doping violation."

Floyd Landis didn't decide yet if he will appeal against the decision. Landis could take the case to the international sports court CAS. Floyd Landis insists that he is innocnent and says the French laboratory who analized out his tests made several mistakes. This was the reason that one of the members of the arbritation panel, Christopher Campbell, voted against the two year ban.

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