Landis claims deal offer

Landis claims deal offer
By Reuters

11/05/2007 at 11:17Updated

Floyd Landis, battling to maintain his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive doping test, has claimed he had been offered a reduced sentence by the US Anti-Doping Agency if he gave "incriminating evidence" about Lance Armstrong.

"It was characterised for me that if I gave information that would incriminate Lance then I would be given a shorter sentence," Landis said before a public hearing into his case, due to start on May 14.

Landis said the offer concerning compatriot Armstrong, the record seven-times Tour de France winner, had been made to his lawyer by USADA general counsel Travis Tygart.

Tygart said that rules stopped him from discussing matters relating to a case but added: "If Mr Landis wishes to waive the rule and allow USADA to comment I will be more than happy to address his nonsense - otherwise I can't comment."

Landis said that he had not given any answer to the alleged offer.

"I don't think that offer justified a response," Landis said.

"I didn't do what I am accused of doing and none of this has anything to do with Lance," he said, adding that he had not spoken to Armstrong about the offer.

If found guilty of doping, Landis faces a two-year suspension and the possibility of becoming the first Tour winner to be stripped of his title.

Armstrong, who won seven tours in a row, was cleared last year of charges of using illegal substances during the 1999 race.