Sports News

Anti-doping agency to seek court costs from Landis

MONTREAL (Reuters) - The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) said on Monday it may seek $1.3 million in court costs from disgraced Tour de France winner Floyd Landis if the cyclist fails to win his appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

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The new chairman of WADA John Fahey discussed the possibility of recovering court costs after chairing his first major meetings at the doping agency’s Montreal headquarters last weekend.

Fahey’s predecessor Dick Pound has been critical of the International Cycling Union’s unwillingness to contribute financially to the court costs that Fahey said stood at around $1.3 million.

Landis, who has denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs, is awaiting the results of his final appeal against a positive doping test that stripped him of his Tour de France title.

The American cyclist tested positive for elevated testosterone to epitestosterone levels after his stunning victory on stage 17 of the 2006 Tour.

CAS staged a five-day appeal hearing in March and a decision is expected next month.

“The normal process for costs and proceedings will be followed,” said Fahey, a former Australian finance minister who took over as WADA chairman from Pound in January.

“Clearly the decision has to be made and I understand that is not too far away but of course it is a matter for the tribunal of the Court of Arbitration for Sport to when they release the decision.

“In the broader sense we have arranged to meet with the head of Court of Arbitration for Sport to cover a number of matters with him.

“The figure (for Landis court costs) I keep being told is $1.3 million dollars that is what has been spent.”

WADA said it will continue to press law enforcement agencies to get more involved in the fight against doping and recently completed a memorandum of understanding with Interpol as part of its investigations strategy.

Fahey also said there is a significant number of countries and organizations still not in compliance with the World Anti-Doping Code.

The WADA chairman would not say which organizations were dragging their feet or what pressure may be put on them to become code compliant.

However, in November WADA will begin to report on cases of non-compliance to stakeholders, including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who have jurisdiction to impose sanctions, including removing them from the Olympic Games.

Editing by Miles Evans