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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 September 2006, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Landis hit by USADA doping charge
Floyd Landis
Landis will contest the USADA charge at a public hearing
Floyd Landis has been formally charged by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after testing positive for drugs during the Tour de France.

Landis won the race but tests results subsequently revealed irregularly high amounts of testosterone in his body.

The American, 30, was notified in the past few days of the USADA charges, which he denies and will contest.

He will request a public hearing by the American Arbitration Association to appeal against potential sanctions.

Landis has repeatedly denied taking performance-enhancing drugs but could face a two-year ban from cycling if the charges are upheld and could also be stripped of his Tour de France title.

The review board is basically a rubber stamp - they are not deciding the case

Floyd Landis' lawyer

"Landis is confident that the hearing will reveal the truth and he is looking forward to clearing his name in an open and public forum," said a statement on his official website.

But the USADA will now initiate disciplinary procedures against the cyclist after a recommendation from the agency's review board said there is sufficient evidence of a doping violation.

USADA officials have said that under agency rules they cannot comment on the specifics of any doping case.

But Landis' lawyer, Howard Jacobs, told the New York Times: "We expected this to happen.

"The review board is basically a rubber stamp. They are not deciding the case.

"They are just looking at whether there is a case, and it's exceedingly rare for them to dismiss one."

While waiting for the hearing, Landis will undergo planned hip replacement surgery next week which he hopes will allow him to defend his Tour de France title.

Landis rode this year's competition knowing he would need a hip replacement because of a condition called avascular necrosis.

SEE ALSO
Landis states his case to USADA
12 Sep 06 |  Cycling
Landis blames testing procedure
08 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Landis returns positive B sample
05 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Landis sample 'well above limit'
02 Aug 06 |  Cycling
Landis gives positive drugs test
27 Jul 06 |  Cycling


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