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Landis looks for a natural explanation

By Jeff Jones

Floyd Landis has given his second press conference in 24 hours to address his high testosterone:epitestosterone level that showed up in an A sample following a Tour de France drugs test. In contrast to his Thursday teleconference, Landis was in a much more defiant mood as he read out a statement to reporters from a hotel in Madrid, Spain.

"As always, since I have cycled, my physiologic parameters of testosterone and epitestosterone are high, as of those of any other sportsman and in special cases as in mine, for natural reasons, this level is higher still," said Landis. "I'd like to make it absolutely clear that I am not in any doping process. In this particular case, nobody can talk about doping. And for this reason, I ask all the media, both in Europe and the United States, that they know how to interpret and understand where we are."

Landis continued by saying that he will now "undergo all these tests and controls that the UCI and the WADA feel necessary to accredit that the levels I have had during the Tour and all during my career are absolutely natural and are produced by my own [body]...Until such research has been carried out, to which every sportsman in the world is entitled, I ask not to be judged, and much less to be sentenced, by anyone.

Landis finished by saying, "I declare convincingly and categorically that my winning the Tour de France has been exclusively due to many years of training and my complete devotion to cycling, to the sacrifice of my entire life to carry out my dream, a dream of thousands of kilometres that I have completed through an absolute respect to the cleanness of the sport."

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