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Landis proclaims innocence

MADRID, Spain (AP) -- Sounding more defiant than the day before, eyes flashing and voice steady, Floyd Landis looked into the cameras Friday and said he would prove he "deserved to win" the Tour de France.

In his first public appearance since a positive test for high testosterone cast his title into doubt, the American cyclist said his body's natural metabolism -- not doping of any kind -- caused the result, and that he would soon have the test results to prove it.

"We will explain to the world why this is not a doping case but a natural occurrence," Landis said.

Thursday Landis said he didn't cheat but had no idea what might have caused his positive test on the Tour's 17th stage, where he staked his stirring comeback in the Alps.

During that Thursday call, Landis sounded downcast and heartbroken, saying he expected to clear his name but never his reputation. His demeanor was decidedly more fiery Friday, when he lashed out at the media for characterizing his plight as a drug scandal.

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"I would like to make absolutely clear that I am not in any doping process," said Landis, wearing a baseball cap turned backward and a white shirt with the name of his Phonak team. "I ask not to be judged by anyone, much less sentenced by anyone."

Landis is still awaiting results from a backup sample, which would clear him immediately if found to be negative. But his lawyer, Luis Sanz, said he fully expected the backup test to come back with the same result, since the elevated testosterone was produced naturally by Landis's body.

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