French agency summon Floyd

Landis called to French hearing
By Reuters

12/01/2007 at 23:46Updated

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has been summoned to a hearing by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) which could bar him from racing in the country, daily Le Monde reported on Friday.

The hearing has been set for Feb. 8 and American Landis, who tested positive for the banned male hormone testosterone during the 2006 Tour, could be suspended for two years with immediate effect, Le Monde wrote.

The ban would only apply to races in France but would prevent Landis from entering the 2007 Tour.

Landis would not have to attend the hearing and could be represented by his lawyer.

The AFLD was unavailable for immediate comment.

Landis, who faces being the first Tour champion to be stripped of the title, has denied taking performance-enhancing drugs and is fighting to clear his name. He has launched a nationwide speaking campaign to promote his cause against the charges.

The rider told Reuters in an interview this week that he would love nothing more than to win a second Tour de France to make up for the bittersweet memories of last year's victory.

"The best case scenario would be if it ended in the next few weeks, we had a hearing and it was over, and I could race the Tour this year," he said. "But I don't really see that as a possibility, 2008 is much more likely."