Landis to learn fate within a week - lawyers
Mon 17 Sep, 03:06 PM
(Makes clear in third para that deliberations have ended but a verdict has not yet been reached, corrects spelling of marketing manager's first name to Kellie)
PARIS (Reuters) - A United States arbitration panel has ended deliberations on 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis's doping case and will reveal its ruling in the next seven days, the American's legal team said on Monday.
Landis tested positive for the banned male sex hormone testosterone but has maintained his innocence, blaming the positive test on incompetence by the French laboratory that analysed his urine samples.
"The arbitration panel ended its deliberations three days ago. They have 10 days to announce their decision so it will be known by next Monday at the latest," Kellie Power, marketing manager with Landis's lawyers Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher told Reuters on Monday.
Since the announcement after last year's Tour that he had failed a doping test, Landis has been fighting the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which has never lost a case on appeal.
If found guilty, Landis faces a two-year suspension and the possibility of becoming the first Tour winner to be stripped of his title.
However, the American could take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
His lawyers say the samples were mislabelled by the French laboratory which conducted the tests, the process was unreliable and the rider never in fact returned a positive result.
Testosterone can speed up recovery after exercise and generally improves stamina and strength