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Landis maintains he is still Tour de France champion

Written by: Staff
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MADRID, Sep 17 (Reuters) American Floyd Landis has maintained he is still the true Tour de France champion and again denied knowingly taking banned substances.

During a visit to Spain Landis, who tested positive for the male sex hormone testosterone after the 17th stage of the Tour de France, told the Spanish sports daily MARCA that he was innocent.

''I have nothing to hide and nothing to regret. I'm innocent and I think my lawyers will be able to show that.'' Landis said.

''The anti-doping control in the Tour is full of inconsistencies.'' The case has been referred to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency by the US Cycling Union at the start of a long legal process which could lead to Landis losing his Tour de France title.

Landis said he had gone to Madrid to talk to his lawyers about his case. He was sacked by his team Phonak following confirmation of the positive test.

The American visited the start of the Tour of Spain in Madrid this morning and a number of different team buses at the finish.

''I've come to talk with my lawyers and to say good-bye to my team mates and staff on Phonak, because after the Tour I almost had no time,'' he said.

REUTERS AY KN1947

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