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Landis won’t tour France this year

first_imgPARIS – Floyd Landis will skip the Tour de France – and all races in France this year – as part of an agreement with French doping authorities in a case that could strip him of cycling’s most prestigious title. Last year’s Tour champion had hip-replacement surgery 4 months ago and was unlikely to have competed in this year’s Tour. He agreed Thursday not to race again in France until 2008, and in return the French anti-doping agency postponed its decision on whether to suspend him from competing in France for a maximum of two years because of a positive doping test. Landis will go before the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on May 14 and, following that, the AFLD will deliver its verdict in June. “We will let Landis defend himself as he wishes,” Bordry said. The American, who has denied wrongdoing, did not appear at Thursday’s meeting of the AFLD’s nine-member panel, but sent a lawyer who read his request for a delay. In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, Landis said the parallel cases in France and the United States were complicating matters. He asked the French agency to hold off until after the U.S. agency rules. The USADA will hold its hearings May 14. “In this case, and in order to avoid any misunderstanding, I agree to voluntarily not participate in any professional or amateur cycling event in France until December 31, 2007, and in particular the Tour de France 2007,” Landis said in the letter. Bordry said Landis deserves to be heard by the USADA. However, Bordry echoed Tour de France president Christian Prudhomme’s sentiment that the American agency was dragging out its process. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img “Floyd is pleased that the AFLD has agreed with his counsel’s request that they suspend this proceeding,” spokesman Michael Henson said. Earlier, AFLD president Pierre Bordry said Landis “understood perfectly that if he didn’t act today, we would start the procedure immediately.” last_img

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