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Pereiro awaiting Landis verdict

By:
Shane Stokes in Salerno
Published:
May 16, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 22:23 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for May 16, 2007

Following the opening of Floyd Landis' arbitration hearing with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA),...

Following the opening of Floyd Landis' arbitration hearing with the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), Tour de France runner-up Oscar Pereiro is keeping an eye on proceedings in Malibu, California but the Spaniard insists he's trying to avoid dressing in yellow, incase it should be interpreted the wrong way.

"I have been tempted many times, but have never done it," Pereiro told Spanish newspaper Marca. "It is more that I want to avoid causing offence."

Should Landis lose the hearing against USADA, Pereiro will inherit the 2006 Tour title, although the case is likely headed for the Court of Arbitration for Sport, whatever the outcome in nine days time. "You hope to have a happy ending, but with cycling today, you never know what the truth is and isn't," said Pereiro. "What is clear is that I hope for all of this to be over... it would be like a liberation."

Asked whether he now considers himself the Tour winner, the Spaniard said: "By the treatment of journalists yes, but until the Tour proclaims me winner I won't feel like the champion."

"I've lost a lot, sentimentally and economically," he continued. "Money can be recovered, but what can never be returned are the emotions which have been kept from me. The most a cyclist can ever hope for is to climb the podium of the Champs-Élysées and celebrate with your teammates and I'll never have this."

The Caisse d'Epargne rider also had doping accusations levelled at him after it emerged he tested positive for salbutamol during the Tour. However, Pereiro later proved that he took the drug as part of an asthma medication.

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