x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Landis urged to be honest about doping

The American Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart has urged cyclist Floyd Landis to tell the truth about his doping.

Floyd Landis is considering his options after losing his doping ban appeal.
Floyd Landis is considering his options after losing his doping ban appeal.

WASHINGTON // The American Anti-Doping Agency head Travis Tygart has urged cyclist Floyd Landis to tell the truth about his doping now he has exhausted his appeals over a failed drugs test during the 2006 Tour de France. The Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the American's two-year doping ban after a hearing in Lausanne, to end his hopes of having the decision to strip him of victory in that year's Tour overturned.

Tygart said: "The decision sends a strong message that all of the misinformation, essentially the frontal assault that Landis did on the anti-doping establishment, was really without any basis or actual merit." The USADA banned Landis after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone on the 17th and penultimate stage of the 2006 Tour. Landis has consistently denied wrongdoing and blamed procedural mistakes by the French laboratory for his positive test.

But Tygart added: "Maybe with finally being held accountable he might finally realise that the best thing for him to do is acknowledge his mistake to dope and try to come clean. But that's a decision he will have to decide." The CAS announcement followed a five-day hearing in March. Its decision means the Spaniard Oscar Pereiro is the 2006 winner. Landis though hinted he was not giving up. He said: "I am saddened by the decision. I am looking into my legal options and deciding on the best way to proceed."

Cycling is one of several sports which has been rocked by doping scandals in recent years, but Tygart added he believed the "culture has dramatically shifted back to where it should be, which is for clean athletes." * Reuters