Landis says USADA sought information on Armstrong

11th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

LOS ANGELES, May 11, 2007 (AFP) - Embattled Tour de France champion Floyd Landis said Thursday that US anti-doping officials offered early in his case to go easy on him if he provided evidence incriminating former champ Lance Armstrong.

LOS ANGELES, May 11, 2007 (AFP) - Embattled Tour de France champion Floyd Landis said Thursday that US anti-doping officials offered early in his case to go easy on him if he provided evidence incriminating former champ Lance Armstrong.

"That took place in the first conversation between USADA (the US Anti-Doping Agency) and my lawyer," Landis said at a press conference looking ahead to the start of his arbitration hearing on Monday.

"It was offered to me that if I give up something on Lance Armstrong to incriminate him, I would serve the lightest possible suspension," Landis said.

The American, who is battling to keep his 2006 Tour de France title, said he thought the offer showed a cynicism that has affected the entire anti-doping process.

"I do find it to be offensive. And I think it goes to the character of the prosecution," said Landis, who added that in any case he had no information to offer on the subject of doping and Armstrong - the seven-time winner of the world's most prestigious cycle race who has vehemently denied accusations of doping.

USADA could not immediately be reached for comment. The agency's standard policy is not to comment on open cases.

Landis said he didn't expect the subject to arise during his hearing before a three-man panel of the American Arbitration Association, which is expected to last 10 days.

"We would wish the hearing would be about science and about a doping case," he said. "This is what I've been accused of."

Landis and his advisers argue that the French laboratory that found an unusually high level of testosterone in his sample given after the stunning stage 17 triumph that keyed his Tour victory failed to follow proper procedures in handling the samples.

"All I can hope for, really, is that the three arbitrators will listen to the facts in the case," he said.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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