Pereiro: It's still Floyd

Pereiro: I'm still not champion
By Eurosport

26/10/2006 at 18:34Updated

Oscar Pereiro still does not consider himself the winner of the Tour de France, as the 2007 edition was announced on Thursday without current champion Floyd Landis in attendance.

"I am not considering myself as the Tour de France winner," the Caisse d'Epargne rider told reporters on Thursday.

"In the statutes, Floyd is still the winner. So for now, it's Floyd, not me."

The Spaniard finished second to Landis in the 2006 Tour, but the American subsequently tested positive for doping, was renounced as the champion by race organisers, and then sacked from his Phonak team.

"People want me to say what I can't say. At this time, I am the Tour runner-up," Pereiro said.

Landis, who has protested his innocence since his initial positive testosterone test was revealed shortly after his dramatic Tour victory, will go before an American Arbitration Association hearing early next year where he could be stripped of his title and suspended for two years if found guilty.

In the meantime, Landis is still the official champion in the Tour de France record books.

"We do not have the right to decide who is the winner of the Tour," new Tour director Christian Prudhomme said.

"So we just have to wait and see."