Landis pleads innocence

America’s Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, facing the loss of his title in a doping scandal, on Friday insisted again he was innocent.

The 30-year-old rider said that his positive test for testosterone showed up levels which “are absolutely natural and produced by my own organism”.

Landis said he was in Madrid to consult with his legal team and added he was willing to undergo whatever tests the sport’s authorities asked of him to establish his innocence.

“I ask not to be judged and much less to be sentenced by anyone,” Landis told a news conference at a Madrid hotel.

“I’d like to make it absolutely clear that I’m not in any doping process,” he added.

“I will proceed to undergo all of these tests” to show the levels “are absolutely natural and produced by my own organism”, he promised.

The American added that he wished to state “categorically that my Tour win was exclusively due to many years of training and dedication” to his sport.

“I declare convincingly and categorically that my winning the Tour de France has been exclusively due to many years of training and my complete devotion to cycling.

“I was the strongest guy. I deserved to win, and I’m proud of it.”

Landis said he was in Spain “for meetings to establish a plan” to respond to the doping allegations and that he and his entourage would “explain to the world why this is not a doping case but a natural occurrence”.

Landis, who is facing the sack from his Phonak team if the B sample confirms the first result, passed on medical questions to his lawyer, Jose Maria Buxeda.—AFP


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