Pereiro rules out compensation

Pereiro rules out compensation
By Reuters

21/09/2007 at 14:12Updated

Spain's Oscar Pereiro, who finished second to Floyd Landis in the 2006 Tour de France, has expressed relief at hearing he will now be officially recognised as the race winner.

On Thursday, Landis was found guilty of doping during the race by a US arbitration panel, which decided that the American had injected himself with testosterone.

"It's a strange sensation. I am happy above all because the long wait of more than a year is over, but it won't feel like other victories such as Alberto Contador's in July," Pereiro told Marca.

"I haven't had, and I am never going to have, the experience of savouring the victory in the Champs Elysees (in Paris) with my colleagues, at least not for the 2006 Tour."

However, Pereiro rejected the idea of seeking compensation.

"I have suffered prejudice from a publicity point of view. It isn't the same to negotiate my future as a runner-up as to do it as the winner of the Tour," he added.

"(To take action) would just extend the situation, and I want it to finish now. In the end justice has been done, and logic says if the person who came first cheated, the person who came second should be named winner."

The International Cycling Union has said Pereiro will be recognised as the winner, though that process still needed to be completed officially.

Pereiro will formally become the first Spaniard to take the title since compatriot Miguel Indurain in 1995. Contador, another Spaniard, won the race in 2007.

In a column in Marca, the five-times winner Indurain said: "At last the end has arrived. The final result should compensate for the bad moments.

"What Oscar has to do now is to enjoy this moment and experience the feeling of what he really is: A Tour de France winner."