Latest: French delay Landis decision; Discovery finalises roster

Floyd Landis won't have to battle a doping hearing in France until after his May 14th appointment wi


Floyd Landis won’t have to battle a doping hearing in France until after his May 14th appointment wi

PIC BY ANDY SHEN/NYVELOCITY.COM French delay Landis decision The French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) will not go ahead with its doping case against Floyd Landis until after he is heard by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) on May 14. The AFLD met on Thursday, and agreed to postpone the case after Landis agreed in turn that he would not take part in the 2007 Tour de France. It’s likely that the AFLD will resume its investigation into the 2006 Tour winner in June. “He understood perfectly that if he didn’t act today, we would start the procedure immediately,” Pierre Bordry, chief of the AFLD, was quoted by AP as saying. “We will let Landis defend himself as he wishes before the USADA.” Landis wrote a letter to the AFLD, in which he stated, “In this case, and in order to avoid any misunderstanding, I agree to voluntarily not participate in any professional or amateur cycling event in France until December 31, 2007, and in particular the Tour de France 2007.” Landis was a doubtful starter in the 2007 Tour anyway – not just because of his USADA hearing, but also because he had hip replacement surgery in October last year. His legal team had asked the AFLD to delay his hearing in France, a move that was supported by WADA chief Dick Pound and the French sports minister Jean-Francois Lamour. Bordry also agreed that Landis should have his USADA hearing first, although he suspected that the American anti-doping body was not pushing things forward. Despite the problems he is facing at the moment, Landis is remaining active in other areas of his life. On Wednesday night, he was a guest star at a “roller party” hosted by the website in New York. The event was a fundraiser for Fernando Cuevas, a local cycling benefactor ill with multiple myeloma, and Landis provided commentary for the roller races. According the site’s Dan Schmalz, “Floyd … got into the silly vibe of the event, and joked he was ‘hoping for a crash.'” Discovery Channel finalises 2007 roster The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team has finalised its roster for 2007, with the signings of Alberto Contador, Steve Cummings and John Devine. The three bring the team’s total number of riders to 28, led by stars Ivan Basso, George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer. Contador will strengthen the team in the mountains, although he will also be given the opportunity to go for solo wins. Team manager Johan Bruyneel was happy with the acquisition of the Spanish talent. “I was fortunate to have the space and the budget to sign a rider of Alberto’s calibre,” said Bruyneel. “He really impressed me last year and I expect him to do well in this team and win some big races for us.” In contrast to Contador, Steve Cummings comes to the team as a sprinter. “Steve’s track background will be an asset to this team and provide us the opportunity to be competitive in races where we have not been in the past – those with a sprint finish,” Bruyneel added. “I am sure he will adapt to the road style quickly and prove his worth immediately.” The last addition to Discovery Channel is 21 year-old John Devine, who will commence his pro career with the team in July 2007. Prior to then, he will be riding with the US U23 team in Belgium. Devine comes from a mountain biking background, and will be following national U23 program graduates like Dave Zabriskie. “After watching John train and interact with his teammates during the December training camp, I was even more convinced than before that I made a good choice,” said Bruyneel. “He’s an unproven talent, but I will allow him time to adapt to racing at the Pro Tour level and expect him to progress quickly.” Full team roster: Ivan Basso (Italy), Fumiyuki Beppu (Japan), Volodymyr Bileka (Ukraine), Jani Brajkovic (Slovenia), Alberto Contador (Spain), Tony Cruz (USA), Steve Cummings (Great Britain), Tom Danielson (USA), John Devine (USA), Stijn Devolder (Belgium), Vladimir Gusev (Russia), George Hincapie (USA), Fuyu Li (China), Levi Leipheimer (USA), Trent Lowe (Australia), Egoi Martinez (Spain), Jason McCartney (USA), Gianni Meersman (Belgium), Uros Murn (Slovenia), Benjamin Noval (Spain), Pavel Padrnos (Czech Republic), Sergio Paulinho (Portugal), Yaroslav Popovych (Ukraine), Chechu Rubiera (Spain), Tomas Vaitkus (Lithuania), Brian Vandborg (Denmark), Jurgen Van Goolen (Belgium), Matt White (Australia). Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.