Shorts: Landis and other latest news

Tour de France boss calls Floyd Landis a cheat, Caisse d'Epargne release four riders but sign none,

Tour de France boss calls Floyd Landis a cheat, Caisse d'Epargne release four riders but sign none,


Tour de France head honcho Patrice Clerc has hit out at Tour de France winner Floyd Landis, who faces being stripped of the title after testing positive for testosterone. Speaking to L'Equipe, Clerc said of Landis: "For me, the sermon has been read. Landis did not win the Tour because he cheated. He added that Landis had "gravely affected the credibility of his sport". Landis himself underwent surgery in California on Wednesday to replace his damaged hip.

- Caisse d'Epargne released four riders from their roster. Iker Leonet, Mikel Pradera, Cayetano Julia and Jos Luis Carrasco have been let go, with no riders as yet signed to replace them. According to team PR Francis Lafargue: "We had great results this season and we don't need to introduce many changes." As far as Constantino Zaballa, who was suspended after being implicated in the Puerto affair, is concerned, Lafargue commented: "We suspended him as soon as they told us what was going on. At the moment everything is up in the air and we are waiting for the Spanish federation to decide on the issue."

- Insult has been added to injury for Alessandro Petacchi. After being forced to call a premature end to his season having broken a finger punching the door of his Milram team bus at the Vuelta, the Italian's home at Lido de Camaiore has been visited by burglars. "I was dining at a restaurant with my wife Chiara when I received a call that was linked to the alarm on my house," Petacchi explained. "I immediately went home but didn't find anyone there. Fortunately, the alarm made them run off. I am only just moving in so there wasn't a great deal there for them to take."

- Team Lamonta sprinter Danilo Hondo has signed for a new Italian-based Russian continental team called Tinkoff Credit System. The 32-year-old German will join Olympic points champion and former under-23 world time trial champion Mikhail Ignatiev on the team.

- More bad news for Jan Ullrich, who has been dropped by the SportFive marketing agency that was responsible for setting up most of his sponsorship deals. The German, who is reported to be training hard in the hope that he will be able to return to racing after being implicated in the Puerto scandal, has also been dropped from a million euro a season contract by Swiss watch company IWC.

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