Murietta, Ca., October 10, 2007 – Floyd Landis announced today that he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn the split decision ruling handed down on September 20 by the WADA/USADA arbitration panel.
“Knowing that the accusations against me are simply wrong, and having risked all my energy and resources – including those of my family, friends and supporters – to show clearly that I won the 2006 Tour de France fair and square, I will continue to fight for what I know is right. Doping in sport seems to continue to get worse under the current anti-doping system, and this is only a part of the huge amount of proof that the WADA/USADA system needs a total overhaul. I will continue to work to clear my name and fight for change in the name of fairness and justice. No matter the final outcome of my case, there must be change in the current system if athletes can ever hope to compete on a level playing field and return to the joy and inspiration that sport can bring all of us.”
“My hope is that the CAS panel will review my case on the basis of the facts and the science, and to approach my appeal from the principle that the anti-doping authorities must uphold the highest levels of appropriate process, technical skill, science and professional standards to pronounce judgment on matters that hold an athlete’s career, accomplishments and livelihood in the balance.”
“Finally, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my family, friends and supporters who have stood by me and this cause in the face of a huge amount of cynicism and despair across the world of sport. Doping is a cultural problem, and it is obviously a wrong that needs to be addressed and corrected, but perpetrating a cynical and corrupt anti-doping system will not solve the problem. Two wrongs never make a right.”
Bikebiz carries the statement in full with some context.
ESPN's Bonnie D. Ford writes about the Landis decision to appeal his case to the CAS and also notes Landis' reaction to recent comparisons to Marion Jones which obviously disturb him. Landis also comments on Oscar Pereiro receiving the maillot jaune from the 2006 Tour de France:
Landis said he finds it "absurd" that Tour officials would make that gesture before he had exhausted all his legal options, but added he won't ask for the jersey back if he wins in court.
"I won't be taking part in any more ceremonies like that,'' he said. "This just shows what I've said all along -- they don't care about the facts. If the French lab [that processed his test samples] says something, they believe it.''
On representation and further fund raising for the CAS appeal Landis said:
The ruling as a whole gave Landis and his lawyers reason to believe that an appeal was justified, the 31-year-old cyclist said from his home outside San Diego. The Los Angeles attorneys who represented him in the USADA hearing, Maurice Suh and Howard Jacobs, will continue to be involved, but Landis said he has hired two Swiss lawyers with experience in CAS hearings to serve as lead co-counsel.
Landis said he does not know when the hearing will take place, but added he does not anticipate having to do much more fundraising for his defense, as most of the basic research is done. He is suspended from competition until early 2009.
LA Times/Hiltzik writes:
Landis' appeal will go to the Lausanne, Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. His attorneys and those of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which brought the accusation against him, have until Oct. 18 to file preliminary briefs.
By mid-November the court is expected to set a hearing date. Unlike Landis' original arbitration hearing, which took place before a three-man panel in May, the CAS hearing will be closed to the public.
ESPN also files the brief AP report on the Landis appeal.
The Sentinal has Eddie Pell's longer AP report.
Bloomberg also covers Floyd Landis' decision to appeal his case to the CAS.
The VeloNews writes a more extensive piece on the Landis decision to appeal his case to the CAS with descriptions of earlier cases adjudicated there and discussions of how CAS panels are comprised. It also indicates that Landis may be exploring possibilities rather than full out committing:
Landis attorney Maurice Suh was recently quoted as saying that Landis's decision to appeal may ultimately depend on the composition of the CAS hearing panel. In order for that panel to be appointed, however, the appeal must first be filed. Suh's comment suggests that Landis may play the option of dropping the case if the panel's composition is seen as unsatisfactory
CAS panels are also composed of three members, with each side able to choose one arbitrator from a list provided by the court. Once those two members are empanelled, they then negotiate regarding the third member, who will then serve as chairman. If, as was the case in Landis's U.S. case, the two panelists cannot come to an agreement, the court appoints the third member.
We note many observers are assuming this CAS appeal is the final step, but we're not so sure. There's been suggestions of further recourse to Courts outside the arbitration framework, but attempting that might require exhaustion of the current process.
The Guardian Unlimited posts the Reuters article on Floyd Landis' decision to appeal his USADA verdict to the CAS. USADA lawyer Richard Young is quoted:
We expect the same result that we had the first time around," USADA attorney Richard Young told Reuters. "But it's a fair system and that's his right."
The AFP's version, also seen on Bicycling's website, is short and sweet, as is the BBC's
The Daily Peloton also wries about Floyd Landis' choice to appeal his case to the CAS.
The CyclingNews publishes the Landis appeal story referring to Landis as the "now dethroned" Tour de France champion. It also interestingly says that Landis had less than 24 hours to reach this decision, and posts a quote from Landis attorney Maurice Suh:
"We are pleased to announce that Floyd will appeal his case before the Court of Arbitration of Sport," Landis' attorney Maurice Suh of the firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher said in a statement. "We have always believed in the evidence showing that the French laboratory's flawed techniques and conclusions resulted in a false positive result. This appeal is directed at having a fair-minded arbitration panel recognize those errors, and apply the facts and law to this case. If this is done, Floyd will have the justice that he seeks.