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Rediff.com  » Sports » Landis to learn fate on Saturday

Landis to learn fate on Saturday

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August 02, 2006 12:09 IST

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who tested positive for testosterone on his way to victory in cycling's showpiece event, will know on Saturday if the counter-analysis he has requested confirms the result.

"On Saturday morning, we should know, that is what the French laboratory told us," International Cycling Union (UCI) spokesman Enrico Capani said on Tuesday.

The sample will be tested at the Laboratoire National de Depistage du Dopage (LNDD).

"Yesterday afternoon we have asked them to analyse the B sample because Mr Landis had not asked them to do so," he added.

"The laboratory will communicate the results to the Phonak team and to us."

If the positive tests are confirmed, the American would be stripped of his Tour victory and Oscar Pereiro Sio of Spain, who finished second overall in this month's race, would be declared the winner.

BIGGEST EVENT

It would be the first time in the history of the sport's biggest event that a Tour winner has been disqualified for doping.

His Phonak team said Landis would be dismissed if the B result is also positive.

The American, who has denied any wrongdoing, said his body naturally produced high levels of testosterone. He further added that he intends to continue racing after undergoing an operation on his hip.

The 30-year-old tested positive for the male sex hormone after an astounding comeback in the last mountain stage of this year's Tour in the French Alps, just a day after a very poor performance which all but knocked him out of contention.

If the positive test is confirmed, USA Cycling, the American federation, would have a month to make a ruling, the most likely decision being a two-year ban.

Landis's lawyers could then take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and a long procedure would begin.

Testosterone can speed up recovery after exercise and generally improves stamina and strength.

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