(AP) – The Associated Press has learned that Floyd Landis has lost his doping case.
According to documents obtained by the AP, an arbitration panel has upheld the results of a test that showed the American cyclist used synthetic testosterone to fuel his spectacular comeback victory in the 2006 Tour de France.
The head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says the ruling “is a victory for all clean athletes and everyone who values fair and honest competition.” Landis calls the ruling “a blow to athletes and cyclists everywhere.”
The decision comes nearly four months after a bitterly fought hearing.
Landis, who has repeatedly denied using performance-enhancing drugs, must forfeit his Tour de France title and is subject to a two-year ban, retroactive to January 30th of this year.
The ruling leaves Landis with only one more outlet to possibly salvage his title — an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
If Landis chooses not to do that, he’ll be the first person in the 105-year history of the Tour de France to lose the title because of a doping offense.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)