By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Three years ago, Floyd Landis led the Univest cyclosportif ride as a member of Lance Armstrong's victorious team in the 2003 Tour de France. On Sunday, Landis returned with his family to the Univest Grand Prix Criterium in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, not far from his their Farmersville, Pennsylvania home via the invitation of Univest Grand Prix race promoter John Eustice. In an impromptu interview, Landis told Doylestown Intelligencer sports reporter Bill Keen that he has a had a lot of support from American fans since news of his positve test for testosterone in the Tour de France emerged in late July. "I started at races like this and doing local races and this is a good one where amateurs and professionals race together," said Landis, "(The support of the fans) means a lot because, obviously I've been focusing on this whole thing and I haven't been out and doing things much, and it feels good."
Univest organizer John Eustice told Cyclingnews, "I knew it was a risk to have Floyd here and frankly, I didn't know how he would be accepted by crowd. But I know I believe in him and my sponsors trusted me. So when race speaker Michael Aisner introduced Floyd, it was just an incredible moment. To have Floyd back at our race was great. We had a large crowd and they cheered wildly for him. So did all the riders; they were in awe that he was here. To have the entire Landis family, his father, mother and three sisters was great."
Landis discussed his case in some depth with the local media, and said he was sure he would be able to clear his name. "I do feel confident," he told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "Things are going to be fine, for sure. First of all, I'm confident because I know I'm innocent. Secondly, if, like I've been told, they're going to give me a fair hearing, then things will be cleared up."
The next step for Landis and his defence team to submit a formal motion to dismiss the case to the US Anti-Doping Agency. He believes his case is boosted by the full documentation of the b-sample test, which he received Friday. "We were given now, 300, almost 400 pages of documents for the actual tests to analyze," Landis told The Intelligencer.
"On Monday we'll submit a request for the case to be dropped because, based on the B and the B sample, there are too many contradictions for the two to be the same sample," he said. "Assuming they disagree with that [request], then we will go to arbitration with the US Anti-Doping Association, their agency, I should say... So Monday we make a submittal, later in the week, Friday I guess, they will decide whether it goes to a hearing or not and if it does they'll decide on a date then, and I assume it will be December or January. That's the status at this time."
According to the Inquirer, Landis is taking heart from the recent Marion Jones case, in which the printer was cleared of using EPO after an apparent positive A-sample test.
"As you see, they just demonstrated that they misrepresented their test," he said. "They've been doing the same thing with the testosterone test. It's not cut-and-dry like they say... . They need to proceed from here on out with my case and everyone else in the interest of science and fairness, instead of making a name for themselves."
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