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Landis launches final drugs appeal

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  • Floyd Landis appeals to Court of Arbitration for Sport over his doping ban
  • American cyclist was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title
  • Ruling on his appeal expected from CAS early in 2008
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LAUSANNE, Switzerland -- American Floyd Landis filed an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Wednesday to have his two-year drugs ban overturned.

Landis has maintained his innocence during a lengthy legal process.

The disgraced 2006 Tour de France winner is appealing against the decision of the American Arbitration Association, who on September 20 disqualified him from last year's Tour after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone following his victory.

The 32-year-old has protested his innocence throughout, but the proceedings in Lausanne will mark his final avenue of appeal.

Written submissions will be submitted over the next few weeks, but no hearing date has been set, expected to be early in 2008.

The introduction to the 90-page brief Landis' attorneys submitted to CAS said Landis fully supports ongoing efforts to eradicate doping in cycling.

"However, to wrongly strip a champion of his victory due to a flawed test is much worse than to have an athlete cheat his way to victory," the introduction read.

"To ensure a fair process and to protect against the travesty of wrongfully convicting a person for an act he or she did not commit, the anti-doping system must strike an adequate balance between the need for accuracy and reliability of laboratory test results and fairness in sports."

Landis, whose ban is retroactive to January 30 of 2007, has spent an estimated $2 million in legal expenses in trying to clear his name. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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