Landis Tested Positive Again

PARIS (AP) - The Tour de France no longer calls him champion. His cycling team cut him loose.

About the only chance Floyd Landis has of keeping his prized yellow jersey will now likely be decided by an appeals process that could drag on for months.

Landis was discredited and disowned in short order Saturday when elevated levels of testosterone showed up in his "B" or second doping sample - as it did in the initial "A" sample released last week.

The samples also contained synthetic testosterone, indicating that it came from an outside source.

If stripped of the title, Landis would become the first winner in the 103-year history of cycling's premier race to lose his Tour crown over doping allegations.

Landis again denied cheating.

"I have never taken any banned substance, including testosterone," he said in a statement. "I was the strongest man at the Tour de France, and that is why I am the champion.

"I will fight these charges with the same determination and intensity that I bring to my training and racing. It is now my goal to clear my name and restore what I worked so hard to achieve."

The International Cycling Union, the sport's governing body, said it would ask USA Cycling to open disciplinary proceedings. Documentation from the positive tests will be forwarded to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which will turn it over to a review panel. USADA will ultimately decide if a penalty - likely a two-year ban - is appropriate. Landis can accept the decision or begin an appeals process, which can take up to six months and involve the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest said Landis would officially remain Tour champion pending that process. The decision to strip him of his title rests with UCI.