By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
The once touted appearance of Floyd Landis at the new Tour of Elk Grove race outside of Chicago this weekend has been retracted by race organisers, citing the negative image surrounding the confirmation of Landis' positive test at the Tour de France. While Landis' sacking by the Phonak team means he cannot race in any ProTour event, Landis is allowed to race in other events while the investigation by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency continues.
However, race director Nick Sepke told the New York Times that while everyone was disappointed to make the decision to ask Landis to not appear, even to sign autographs, it was the best decision at this time. "We didn't want that image associated with our event," said Sepke. "The people here, Floyd's people, everyone was disappointed with it, but we didn't want to do anything to damage our event."
Landis is currently at his home in California and is retooling his public relations efforts with appearances on ABC's national morning programme Good Morning America with his wife Amber in an effort to repair what he said in a USA Today interview were mistakes he made when he felt forced to explain his positive test in the media.