Landis summoned for hearing before French anti-doping agency

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PARIS (AP) – Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has been summoned to a hearing by the French anti-doping agency to determine whether he can race again in France.

Landis, whose samples for one Tour stage were found to contain elevated testosterone to epitestosterone levels, did not immediately say whether he would attend the Feb.8 hearing in Paris, officials of the French Agency Against Doping said Friday.

The American cyclist, who has denied using a banned substance, was informed of the summons Thursday but has not yet responded, said Philippe Dautry, the agency’s secretary general. He was confirming a report in the French daily Le Monde.

Landis is being asked to appear before a nine-member panel of the agency but can be represented by a lawyer if he chooses, Dautry said.

The panel could ban Landis from racing on French territory, a decision that potentially could keep him out of future Tours. A decision could be made immediately after the hearing or at a later date, Dautry said.

Tour organizers have said they no longer consider Landis the champion of cycling’s premier race, but the agency said it would act fairly.

“We’re making no assumptions in this case,” agency president Pierre Bordry said. “There will be a debate, and we will then see if there is cause to sanction.”

The cyclist adamantly has contested the positive results reported by France’s Chatenay-Malabry laboratory and questioned how the lab handles doping tests. He has said the tests on his samples were mishandled and the analysis based on “flawed science.”

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