Floyd Landis

will take the witness stand today in Malibu, Calif., in an arbitration hearing he hopes will confirm he's the Tour de France champion.

Landis is expected to give his version of events that led to a positive test for synthetic testosterone. A three-man arbitration panel will decide whether to uphold the positive test.

Joe Papp, who received a two-year doping suspension that hadn't been made public until this testimony, was brought to the witness stand by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Papp said he was a drug cheat and described how synthetic testosterone helped him recover in multi-day stage races like the Tour.

USADA used his testimony to refute earlier claims made by Landis' attorneys that testosterone couldn't help the Lancaster County native win the 2006 Tour and that he'd be crazy to use it.

Pro football

Cincinnati linebacker

A.J. Nicholson

was arrested on a domestic violence charge in Taylor Mill, Ky. Police arrested Nicholson after a woman called 911 to say she had been assaulted by the second-year player. He was charged with fourth-degree assault, a misdemeanor.

Commissioner Roger Goodell introduced a new conduct policy last month that stiffens penalties and holds franchises responsible when their players get into trouble.

A California congressman sent a letter that urged Goodell to "act swiftly and forcefully" if Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was involved in dog fighting on his former property.

U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D., Calif.), a senior member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which two years ago held highly publicized hearings on the use of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports, raised the prospect of government intervention if the NFL fails to discipline Vick.

Elsewhere: Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who is seeking a trade, failed to report to minicamp. . . . Marc Ross was hired to head the New York Giants' scouting department. Ross is a former director of college scouting for the Eagles. . . . A week after he raised the possibility of seeking a trade, Brett Favre reported to minicamp with Green Bay.


BMW Oracle Racing lost to Italian boat Luna Rossa and trails, three races to one, in their best-of-nine semifinal series in Louis Vuitton Cup racing off Valencia, Spain. The semifinal winners will meet in the June 1-11 Louis Vuitton Cup final. The winner will sail against defending champion Alinghi in the America's Cup from June 23-July 4.

Serena Williams made an array of mistakes in her final match before the French Open, losing to Patty Schnyder, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (5), in the Italian Open quarterfinals in Rome.

Elsewhere: Rafael Nadal extended his record winning streak on clay to 80 matches by defeating Fernando Gonzalez, 6-4, 6-4, to reach the semifinals of the Hamburg Masters in Germany.