Sports News

Landis appeal hearing ends, decision expected in June

Cyclist Floyd Landis attends an arbitration hearing in Malibu, California, May 22, 2007. REUTERS/Max Morse

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis will have to wait until June at the earliest for a ruling on an appeal to overturn his positive doping test at the 2006 Tour de France after a five-day hearing ended on Monday.

Landis, who has denied wrongdoing, made his final appeal in closed door sessions before a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel against a decision by U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last May that resulted in his two-year ban from cycling through January 29, 2009.

The International Cycling Union later stripped Landis of his 2006 Tour de France crown and awarded the title to Spain’s Oscar Pereiro.

The CAS, in a statement issued from its headquarters in Lausanne, said its three-person panel had heard 35 hours of testimony that included 14 witnesses and written testimony from 10 others.

“The CAS Panel will need some time to review this voluminous file and the post-hearing submissions, which are due on 18 April 2008, before delivering a final decision, which is not expected before June 2008,” the CAS statement said.

Landis tested positive for synthetic testosterone following the penultimate 17th stage of the race.

The American has blamed procedural mistakes by the French laboratory for his positive test.

Writing by Larry Fine; Editing by Ed Osmond