By Shane Stokes
The Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) has commented for the first time on a discrepancy regarding the coding of Landis B sample, saying that a typing error is responsible. According to Wednesdays edition of the French newspaper Le Monde, the identification number referring to Landis had mistakenly been indexed with the wrong number on the counter-analysis report.
The identification number for the rider was 995 474 but one of those six digits was different on the B sample report, which bore the code 994 474.
The issue had been raised before by Landis defence team but this is the first time that Châtenay-Malabry director Jacques de Ceaurriz had commented on it. "It's an error as regards numbering, a typing error which has no significance whatsoever on the findings in the samples," de Ceaurriz told AFP. "These little mistakes happen. They are corrected, and noted." He said that WADA was aware of the incident.
While he maintains that the original findings stand, the admission is undoubtedly an embarrassment for the laboratory. Landiss defence team submission to the USADA review board previously referred to the lab documents as being replete with such gross errors and ineptitude that their results in this case cannot be seriously accepted as accurate.
For its part, the laboratory insists that the typing error does not change the result, and says it fully stands behind the findings. "It wouldn't surprise me that Landis's lawyers use this information," De Ceaurriz added, "but the error does not wipe out the result of the analysis."
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied