Last stage for Floyd Landis

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Floyd Landis has begun filing appeals with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the last stage in his attempt to regain the 2006 Tour de France championship and overturn a 2-year ban from pro cycling.

The 90-page “brief,” as reported at CNN, states that Landis is committed to removing dope from the sport of cycling.

“However, to wrongly strip a champion of his victory due to a flawed test is much worse than to have an athlete cheat his way to victory.

“To ensure a fair process and to protect against the travesty of wrongfully convicting a person for an act he or she did not commit, the anti-doping system must strike an adequate balance between the need for accuracy and reliability of laboratory test results and fairness in sports.”

Evidence of doping

Landis has maintained all along that he was wrongly accused of doping to gain an advantage in Stage 16 of last year's Tour. Results of a urine test revealed a high testosterone-epitestosterone ratio, and follow-up tests showed the presence of synthetic testosterone.

His legal team argued that the methods employed by the French lab and results were seriously flawed. A three-judge paneled agreed that procedures weren't always followed, but ruled against him in a 2-1 vote in September because of the synthetic testosterone results.

Landis was banned from cycling for two years, retroactive to Jan. 20, 2007, and Oscar Pereiro stepped into the 2006 Tour de France championship.

Previous case overturned

Landis's case might be buoyed by the CAS's decision last year regarding cyclist Indigo Landaluce, Reuters reports. Landaluce was cleared after CAS determined that same French lab didn't follow proper procedures in handling and testing his samples.

No date has been set for the appeal. More at:

Floyd Landis website

Floyd Fairness Fund

Trust but Verify

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