Floyd Landis has become the first person in the 105-year history of the Tour de France bicycle race to have to give the winner’s title up due to a doping violation. An arbitration panel has upheld the results of a test that showed Landis’ 2006 victory was fueled by synthetic testosterone.The The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency hailed the ruling as a victory for “clean” athletes.
Landis has consistently maintained his innocence, and it is estimated that Landis spent $2 million on his defense. Landis accused his prosecutors of conspiracy, claiming he was being persecuted in order to force him to turn on seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who has long battled doping allegations. In hearings to determine the issue, Greg LeMond claimed that Landis disclosed the illegal drug use to him and threatened to expose his secret sexual abuse as a child to prevent him from attending the hearing. Landis has one month to appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, or else he must forfeit his 2006 title and be barred from the race until Jan. 30, 2009.