CyclingNews.com reports today:
A public fund is being set up to provide financial support for Floyd Landis’ defence, where he hopes to raise two million US dollars. Landis tested positive in the Tour de France Stage 17 for testosterone.
Michael Henson, Floyd Landis’ spokesman, told Cyclingnews about the fund, saying: “We are building the infrastructure now, including setting up an appropriate board of directors. We will have it up and running on or about the first of the year. The fund will help Floyd defend himself by paying for fees of the attorneys and experts.”
According to Henson, the fund will “support Floyd Landis against unsubstantiated doping allegations, provide the means to attain fairness for Floyd and bring justice to those responsible for misconduct in this case”.
Henson said that no date has been set for Landis’ appeal, which will be with the American Arbitration Association. If that appeal is unsuccessful, the case may eventually end up in the hands of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The LA Times reported that Landis will also start a separate entity, tentatively called the Athlete Fairness Organization, “to help wrongly accused athletes fight doping charges and lobby for improved protection for accused competitors.”
Now, I’m not too crazy about the idea of raising money for his defence … but if is is acquitted of doping charges, he should be able to sue for restitution
And regardless of what you think about the Landis case, whether or not you think he is guilty or innocent of doping, if he does manage to pull this off, creating an organization like the proposed Athlete Fairness Organization will hopefully be good news and a good resource for riders like Jason Sager and Bart Gillespie, both of whom are dealing with the unfairness of USADA/WADA incompetence right now.