With months still remaining before the United States Anti Doping Association begins studying Floyd Landis' case the Tour de France's director general Chistian Prudhomme has expressed his frustration at the snail-paced progress the case is making.
"The situation is unbearable. The disappointment is that we're going to know who the winner of 2007 is before we get to know who won in 2006," Prudhomme told sports daily AS. "[It's] horrible."
Prudhomme's frustration comes as this year's Tour de France nears and yet there's still no official winner of the 2006 event, after the American tested positive for elevated testosterone to epitestosterone levels after his attention-drawing 17th stage win.
"We don't know why the wait is so long," Prudhomme added. "In the road book, when we have to print the names of the winner, maybe this year we are obliged to leave the name of the winner blank. What else can we do?"
Landis continues to maintain his innocents and denies using any banned substances, blaming the situation on incorrect results produced by the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited Chatenay-Malabry lab.
Meanwhile, Prudhomme wouldn't be drawn to comment on whether the Tour would allow Discovery Channel's Ivan Basso to take part in this year's event. The Italian was sidelined by the organisers last July, after being linked to the Spanish authority's Operacíón Puerto investigation.
"The Tour can refuse a rider, but we don't know what will happen with Ivan. It depends on how the Puerto case evolves as it's not completed yet," Prudhomme said. "To end with the cheaters is a question of life and death for cycling and that needs to be understood. We have to keep going and that's what we're going to do, that the winner of the Tour is the outright winner."