Tuesday, September 18, 2007

This just in...

Eurosport

Tour de France - Landis verdict expected in days

Eurosport - Mon, 17 Sep 15:04:00 2007

Floyd Landis' doping verdict will be handed down within seven days after the panel judging the embattled 2006 Tour de France winner finished deliberating last week.

CYCLING 2007 Landis - 0

"The arbitration panel ended its deliberations three days ago. They have 10 days to announce it so the decision will be known by next Monday at the latest," said Kelly Power, a representative for Landis' legal team.

Landis, who claimed a come-from-behind victory in last year's Grand Boucle thanks to a stunning solo stage win in the Alps, tested positive for excessive levels of testosterone during his stage 17 triumph.

Tour de France organisers have already disavowed him as champion, but if the US arbitration panel concludes that he is guilty the American would face a possible two-year suspension and would likely become the first winner to be stripped of his yellow jersey.

The September 23 deadline for the panel to air its ruling comes after it officially closed the hearing record on Thursday, nearly four months after the three-member panel heard evidence in a nine-day hearing.

Landis, who testified in the May hearing, has claimed that his test samples were mislabelled by the Ch√Ętenay-Mal French laboratory.

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which is seeking the guilty verdict, has never lost a case on appeal.

Whichever side loses the case is likely to offer a further appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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