About Tour De France Chief Clerc Says Landis Cheated
|September 28th, 2006||#1|
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Tour De France Chief Clerc Says Landis Cheated info
PARIS (AP) -Tour de France chief Patrice Clerc said he considers Floyd Landis a cheater who has discredited cycling's showcase race.
"For me, the sermon has been read. Landis did not win the Tour because he cheated," Clerc said in an interview with sports daily L'Equipe published Wednesday.
Landis tested positive for elevated testosterone after winning this year's Tour de France and was fired by his Phonak team in August. The tour director, Christian Prudhomme, previously said he no longer considered Landis the champion.
Landis could become the first winner in the 103-year history of the Tour de France to lose his title over doping allegations. Landis' legal team claims major mistakes were made in the tests that came up positive for synthetic testosterone.
A review board has recommended the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency move forward in the disciplinary process against Landis.
Clerc, the head of Amaury Sports Organization which owns the Tour, said that Landis "gravely affected the credibility of his sport."
Urine tests were taken July 20 following Landis' Stage 17 victory during a grueling Alpine leg, when he regained nearly eight minutes on leader Oscar Pereiro. Landis' "A" and "B" samples turned up a ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone of 11:1 - far in excess of the 4:1 limit.
Clerc says the fight against doping must be stepped up.
"Anything that goes in the direction of the fight against doping is fine by me," Clerc said. "There are often facades of discussions, but no action follows. I want to believe that the will exists today." On Saturday, Landis' attorney Howard Jacobs said his client would appeal the positive test and ask for an open hearing by the American Arbitration Association. USADA has said it would agree to an open hearing, which would probably not take place until early next year.