I won the Tour fair and square, says Landis

PARIS, Sep 26 (Reuters) American Floyd Landis, who has been stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a dope test, insists he has prevailed on the French roads without cheating.

In a letter to his fans posted on his Web site (www.floydfairnessfund.org), Landis said: ''I can sleep well at night knowing that I won the 2006 Tour de France fair and square.

''I hope that my campaign to clear my name still means something to all of you who have kindly donated to my legal defense fund.'' Landis, 31, tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone following his victory in the last mountain stage of the 2006 Tour.

Last Thursday, a U.S. arbitration panel ruled that Landis had cheated and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) handed him a two-year suspension from the sport.

The sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union, stripped him of his title and handed to Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, who finished 57 seconds behind Landis in the overall standings.

Landis now has the possibility to take his case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

''Mr Landis is currently weighing his future legal alternatives in pursuing his case,'' Maurice Suh, Landis's lawyer, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Landis added the anti-doping system was flawed.

''If any good has come out of this, we have shown that the anti-doping system is corrupt, inefficient and unfair,'' he said.

''The content of this decision unfortunately highlights this once again. The straightforward and clear dissent in support of my case contrasts sharply with the scientifically flawed and illogical majority decision against me.'' Reuters PDS GC1727

Story first published: Saturday, September 29, 2007, 11:17 [IST]
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