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Supporters launch fund to help Landis clear name

1/4/2007

PARIS -- Supporters of Tour de France winner
Floyd Landis have set up a fund to help the American clear his
name of doping charges.

The Floyd Fairness Fund (www.floydfairnessfund.org) was
launched on Thursday, Landis's representative Michael Henson
wrote in an e-mail sent to Reuters.

"The Fund is seeking to raise some $2 million to cover legal
and other professional fees and expenses in connection with
Floyd's defence.

"Despite their lack of adherence to individual rights and
due process ... the sports bureaucracies pursuing Floyd are
funded in large part by multi-million dollar grants of U.S.
taxpayer dollars and have financial and human resources that far
outstrip those of even a professional athlete of Floyd's
accomplishments."

Landis tested positive for the hormone testosterone during
this year's Tour but denies any wrongdoing and has said he
should be cleared due to procedural errors at the Paris-area
lab.

The 31-year-old said his bid to have the doping charges
thrown out had been strengthened by the case of Spanish rider
Inigo Landaluze, who escaped a two-year ban despite testing
positive for testosterone.

Last month, the Court of Arbitration for Sport cited
irregularities in the testing of Landaluze's samples by the same
laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry.

If Landis is unsuccessful in his quest to have the doping
charges dropped, he will be the first Tour de France winner
stripped of his title.