Landis website seeks funds to fight doping charges

Supporters of 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis are behind a website designed to solicit funds to help the American cyclist clear his name of doping charges.

Supporters of 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landishave started a website aimed at raising funds to help the American cyclist clear his name of doping charges.

They hope theFloyd Fairness Fundraises $2 million US to help cover legal and other costs related to Landis's defence.

"The Floyd Fairness Fund was established to support Floyd Landis in his efforts to clear his name of unsubstantiated doping allegations by providing him with the means to attain a fair and just hearing," reads a statementon the website.

"Our mission is to support Floyd Landis against unsubstantiated doping allegations; to provide the means to attain fairness for Floyd; and to bring justice to those responsible for misconduct in the case."

Among supporters listed on the New York-based website are Michael Henson, Landis's communications consultant.

Landis won the 2006 Tour de France, but his claim to that prestigious title is still in limbo. Just days after his victory, the International Cycling Federation announced Landis had tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the late stages of the world's most famous bike race.

Landis has denied any wrongdoing, and he and his representatives have blamed procedural errors at the Paris-area lab for the positive result.

In a documentary on The National on Wednesday night, Tom Harrington of CBC News asked Landis if he was doping during the Tour.

"No," answered Landis.

Landis is scheduled to present his formal appealat an arbitration hearing, which will be prosecuted by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, in the next few weeks before a panel from the American Arbitration Society.

Landis can appeal that ruling to the international Court of Arbitration for Sport, which has the final say.

If found guilty of doping, Landis faces a minimum two-year ban from the sport and the loss of his Tour de France title.

Tour de France organizers already have said they no longer consider Landis the champion, elevating runner-up Oscar Pereiro of Spain instead.

They also plan to begin proceedings to formally strip Landis of his title when the appeals process has concluded.