The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced this morning that it has rejected Floyd Landis's appeal of the doping case raised after the 2006 Tour de France.
The decision by the Switzerland-based board means that earlier rulings against Landis stand. The 32-year-old American cyclist had previously lost his championship for the 2006 Tour de France and had been banned from professional cycling for two years, beginning Jan. 30, 2007.
The CAS also ruled that Landis must pay the US Anti-Doping Agency $100,000 for the costs it incurred in fighting the latest Landis appeal.
Thomas Tygart, the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency, told VeloNews:
“This sends a message that no one – no matter what resources they have at their disposal – can hide from the truth.”
The Landis case, which broke shortly after the completion of the Tour in 2006, raised unprecedented attention to doping in the sport of cycling.
Landis, who was raised as a Mennonite in Pennsylvania, has steadfastly proclaimed his innocence through the episode. He and his supporters mounted a strong defense, even publishing all the lab documents on the web to help people understand the nature of the charges against him.
Known as the “wiki defense,” that action helped reveal shortcomings in some of the documentation and procedures by the French lab that performed the tests. Those mistakes weren't big enough to convince a panel that Landis was innocent of the accusations, however, and he lost the case brought by US Anti-Doping Association in September.
The CAS heard Landis's appeal of the case in March.
It will be interesting to see whether this ruling marks the end of this long and ugly case.