Armstrong: Landis Is Innocent Of Doping

Wednesday, July 4th 2007, 9:07 pm
By: News On 6

ASPEN, Colo. (AP) _ Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said he believes that last year's winner Floyd Landis did not dope but likely will lose his arbitration case against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Landis, who agreed not to defend his title this month, tested positive for synthetic testosterone after a dramatic and decisive win in the Tour's 17th stage last year. After a 10-day hearing in May, Landis is awaiting the decision of the arbitration panel, which must decide whether to uphold the positive doping test.

``I think conventional wisdom is that he will lose (his arbitration hearing), because USADA has never lost a case,'' said Armstrong, the guest speaker Tuesday at an Aspen Ideas Festival health forum discussion that former CBS anchor Bob Schieffer moderated.

``The arbitrators don't ever rule for the athletes,'' Armstrong said, according a story in Wednesday's edition of The Aspen Times. ``Quite frankly, the system is set up against the athletes. Unfortunately for him, I don't think he did it. That's always been my position and still is today.''

Armstrong is again the subject of doping allegations in a soon-to-be-published book, ``From Lance to Landis.'' Much of the material in the new book is based on testimony given in a legal dispute between Armstrong and Dallas-based company SCA Promotions, which had a bonus contract with the cyclist.

Armstrong repeatedly has denied doping allegations against him both in court and the public arena.

And Tuesday he defended cycling's commitment to testing.

``If you went to Major League Baseball and said, 'We're going to have random, unannounced, out-of-competition controls,' they would tell you, 'You're crazy. No way, we're not playing another game.' The NFL, they would never do that. NHL, no way. Golf, forget it. Tennis, forget it. Of course, cyclists get tested more than anything else, and perhaps that's why they get caught more than anyone else.''