It’s not a surprise that Floyd Landis has filed an appeal of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s verdict against him. I’m prompted to remember what his mother said when that case went against him: something to the effect that she didn’t think it was worth appealing, but Floyd being Floyd — and seeing that he still insisted on his innocence — how could he not appeal?
Now the case goes to the oddly named Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland, and the word is that its ruling — which will be the final, final, final legal verdict in the matter — will come down early next year.
In the meantime, Tour de France officials will appear in Madrid on Monday to bestow their event’s much besmirched champion’s jersey on Oscar Pereiro, who finished second to Landis in 2006. I just love picturing what happens if the Swiss court rules in Landis’s favor. Will there be a ceremony to retrieve the jersey from Pereiro and give it back to Floyd? (Of course not. In the unlikely event he wins his Swiss appeal, Landis will probably have to sue the Amaury Sports Organization, the Tour company, to get the championship back. Which reminds me of hearing Pete Dexter, the former newspaper columnist and fine novelist, asked about why he hadn’t sued David Milch, the creator of HBO’s “Deadwood,” for what Dexter felt was theft from his much earlier novel of the same name. “You know, if you do that, that’s what you do. That becomes your job. You’re someone who sues.” Not that I’m without sympathy for Floyd, but he looks like he’s got a new job.)