Accessibility links

Cyclist Oscar Pereiro Cleared of Doping Charges

Last year's Tour de France runner-up, Oscar Pereiro of Spain, has been cleared of doping charges after he provided sufficient medical clearance for use of banned substances.

The French anti-doping agency had asked Pereiro to send justification for use of the banned drug salbutamol, which is used to treat asthma and bronchial spasms.

The Spanish rider said he had permission to use the drug, but had forgotten to file the necessary paperwork with French anti-doping authorities. In a statement issued Thursday, the French agency agreed the International Cycling Union had cleared Pereiro to use the medicine.

Pereiro could be named the 2006 Tour champion if American Floyd Landis loses his appeal. Landis tested positive for high levels of the male hormone testosterone and Tour organizers have said they no longer consider him the champion. The American has appealed his case.

In December, a French laboratory admitted mislabeling Landis's second drug test. Landis's attorney has said the French lab made repeated errors and the American rider is appealing his case. The American has been called to appear before the French Anti-Doping Agency February 8. If found guilty of doping, Landis would be stripped of the title and banned for two years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.