American cyclist Floyd Landis has lost his last resort appeal to retain
his 2006 Tour de France title after the Court of Arbitration for Sport
ruled his positive doping test from the race was valid.
The Swiss court's three-member panel announced its verdict Monday, dismissing Landis's appeal of a two-year ban for a positive result for synthetic testosterone. The court panel deliberated the case for three months following a hearing in New York.
Sports' highest court confirmed that Landis is suspended until January 29, 2009. He was also ordered to pay $100,000 toward the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's expenses to fight the case.
Landis said he is "saddened" by the decision and is looking into his legal options and deciding on the best way to proceed.
Landis tested positive for testosterone after winning the 17th stage of the 2006 Tour de France with an incredible breakaway through the Alps. The American rider is the first to be stripped of the Tour de France title for a doping violation.
Landis has vehemently denied using performance enhancing drugs, blaming the French lab for mistakes that he says caused an inaccurate result on his sample.
In its 58-page decision, the court said the lab used some, quote, "less than ideal laboratory practices, but not lies, fraud, forgery or cover-ups," which is what Landis had alleged.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.