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Landis on defense in home area

The Tour de France champion says doping allegation has drained him completely.

EPHRATA — Tour de France champion Floyd Landis says his legal battle over doping allegations has drained him physically, mentally and financially.

The effort “takes all of my energy and a lot of my time,” Landis told reporters before a Sunday night fundraiser at which he was greeted by thunderous applause by about 300 people.

“I think he needs a breather,” said his father, Paul, who lives in Farmersville. “He seems a little run down.”

Landis was accused of doping after his sample was found to contain elevated testosterone to epitestosterone levels after a 17th-stage win in last year’s Tour de France. He risks being the first rider in the 104-year history of the race to be stripped of his title.

Sunday’s event at the Ephrata Performing Arts Center included a 45-minute presentation from a doctor giving several arguments against the lab’s testing procedure and its analysis of the results. After that, Landis answered dozens of questions from the crowd.

Asked who he believes will win this summer’s Tour de France, Landis said “I don’t care.”

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