The US Cycling Federation has referred Floyd Landis's doping case to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the organisation said.

The federation said in a statement released late on Saturday it had formally referred the case to the USADA, which is "responsible for the adjudication of anti-doping cases involving American athletes in the Olympic movement".

It added it would make no further comment on Landis's positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone.

"To maintain the same level of sensitivity and respect for both the rights of all athletes and due process as the Landis case enters the formal disciplinary phase, we will continue to refrain from comment until USADA reaches a final determination and all appeals are exhausted," it said.

"As the governing body responsible for the sport of cycling in the United States and American athletes racing abroad, USA Cycling will continue to maintain a zero-tolerance policy for doping in our sport," said Steve Johnson, chief executive officer of the cycling federation.

The B sample results, Landis's response and any documents provided by the USADA will go to a review panel, which will make a recommendation whether or not there is a case.

The USADA, based on that recommendation, will then decide whether to charge Landis.

If the USADA does charge the rider, he will have the opportunity to contest that decision and the recommended sanction before a US panel of judges.

Landis's lawyers could then take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Landis tested positive for testosterone after an astounding comeback in the final mountain stage of the Tour de France. It came a day after a poor performance all but knocked him out of contention.

Both Landis's A and B samples tested positive and the rider faces a two-year ban from the sport.

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