Floyd Landis said he has naturally high testosterone levels, and will undergo tests to prove he is not guilty of doping at the Tour de France.
"We will explain to the world why this is not a doping case but a natural occurrence," Landis said Thursday in his first public appearance since a positive doping test cast doubt on one of the most stirring Tour de France comeback wins in history.
Landis said his positive test results had nothing to do with doping, and that the high level of testosterone in his blood was the result of his natural metabolism.
"I would like to make absolutely clear that I am not in any doping process," Landis said. "I ask not to be judged by anyone, much less sentenced by anyone."
The American cyclist chastised the media for confusing the public by implying that he was accused of doping, and he defended himself as an honest competitor who had devoted his life to the sport of cycling.
"I declare convincingly and categorically that my winning the Tour de France has been exclusively due to many years of training and my complete devotion to cycling," he said. "I was the strongest guy. I deserved to win, and I'm proud of it."
It was Landis's first public appearance since testing positive for high testosterone following the Tour's 17th stage last week. That was the stage in which he made a charge that ultimately led to his comeback victory in cycling's signature event.
Landis and the rest of the cycling world must await a second test that will either confirm the results of the first one, or clear his name. The rider said he hoped that would be concluded as soon as possible.
Landis said he was shocked when told of the initial positive result. He said he had been tested six other times during the tour, and many other times during the year.