Floyd Landis appears to have accepted that the 2006 Tour de France title will be awarded to Spaniard Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears). The American tested positive for a high testosterone level following his stage 17 win in this year's Tour and has since been fighting to prove the French scientists wrong.
Saturday, Landis expressed his doubts of returning to racing even if cleared by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The USADA is expected to have a hearing next month but likelihood of proving a testosterone test invalid is slim.
"There's a minute chance of me racing again in 2007," he told Het Laatste Nieuws and Gazet van Antwerpen. "Even if I'm not suspended, who will want to sign me? And if they suspend me for two or four years – a humiliation which I hope doesn't happen – it's over for me. As things stand now, I don't see myself as a bike racer."
Landis argues the existence of errors on the behalf of the Châtenay-Malabry lab when testing his urine samples. He and his lawyer, Howard Jacobs, have released documentation to sway the public but they will have to wait until January to attempt persuade the USADA. Landis now feels his image has been tarnished by July's actions.
"I've never taken testosterone, I would have been stupid to because you just can't get away with it [in doping tests]. What it comes down to is that I'm being accused of stupidity more than doping. Even if I'm proved innocent, my reputation is ruined."
Tour de France organizes consider Pereiro the winner of the 2006 edition but are waiting for the official processes to take place before they stripe the American of the title.
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied