An official ceremony has been announced for Monday at which Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne) will be formally awarded the 2006 Tour de France yellow jersey. The symbolic ceremony, which will be used to officially install the Spaniard as the event's winner, will be held in the presence of Tour director Christian Prudhomme, Amaury Sports Organisation president Patrice Clerc and Spanish Minister of Sport Jamie Lissavetzky.
The ceremony comes after Floyd Landis (Phonak) failed to have his sanction overturned at a arbitration hearing in the United States following a non-negative test during the 2006 Tour. UCI president Pat McQuaid was quick to set the record straight following the guilty verdict, telling Cyclingnews: "We can confirm that Pereiro will be the winner of the 2006 Tour de France, and that Floyd Landis will get a two year ban."
For Pereiro the ceremony, which will be held at 6 PM at the Upper Counsel of Sports in Madrid, will likely be bitter sweet. While Pereiro will be declared the winner of cycling's grandest race, the Spaniard has endured more than 12 months of speculation and questioning by the media over the topic. Additionally Pereiro has been robbed of the opportunity to ride down the Champs-Élysées in the yellow jersey as the event's rightful winner.
This is something that has grated on Pereiro, however he says he's now focused on the future rather than dwelling on the past. "I never say that I'm the winner of the 2006 Tour de France," Pereiro told Cyclingnews during this year's Tour. "I can't make a photo with the yellow jersey. My sponsors can't use me as the winner for promotion. This debate has lasted too long already.
"It's been almost a year now," continued Pereiro. "If one day the UCI decides to give me the win, okay, I'll be happy to take it but I will never be able to ride up and down the Champs-Élysées with the yellow jersey. For a while, it has bothered me a lot, but now I don't focus on the procedures and the if or maybe…"
Landis' non-negative test came after his seemingly superhuman comeback in Stage 17 of the 2006 Tour. Three days after the Tour finished the news of a presumptive positive by Landis was leaked to the media. Faced with the prematurely leaked information before he could even wrap his own head around the situation, Landis fired off a variety of possible explanations.
The findings indicated that Landis' testosterone ratio was well above the acceptable limit, which prompted the testing lab to look for exogenous testosterone. The French LNDD lab (Laboratoire de Chatenay-Malabry) found synthetic testosterone in Landis' samples.
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