BMC Racing team manager John Lelangue attended a hearing of the special committee established by the French Cycling Federation (FFC) on Monday as part of investigations into comments made by Floyd Landis that were released during last month's Amgen Tour of California.
In the leaked email from Landis to USA Cycling's CEO Steve Johnson, the former US Postal and Phonak team member claims that Lelangue knew of the star rider's doping practices in his capacity as Phonak team manager (pictured right). It prompted the International Cycling Union (UCI) to call on national federations to investigate the various allegations made by the American.
Landis said in the now-infamous email: "One thing of great significance is that I sat down with Andy Riis [sic] and explained to him what was done in the past and what was the risk I would be taking and ask for his permission which he granted in the form of funds to complete the operation described. John Lelangue was also informed by me and Andy Riis [sic] consulted with Jim Ochowitz before agreeing."
Lelangue has a French licence and was thus summonsed by the relevant federation; French daily L'Equipe reports that FFC Chairman David Lappartient explained the role of the committee in the ongoing investigation is not a disciplinary one, merely a vehicle to determine whether further action should be taken.
"The special commission has the discretion to investigate incriminating and exculpatory [evidence]," he said. "It probably raises specific questions, but I do not know if there will be other hearings. It is not a disciplinary body, but a commission of inquiry. The report will decide whether to proceed."
Following Landis' claims surrounding former US Postal teammates Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie and Dave Zabriskie, Johnson has instructed the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to examine the allegations in line with the UCI's requests.