Supporters launch fund to help Landis clear name

Updated: January 4, 2007, 11:46 AM ET

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 ( 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.