Hip surgery in two weeks for Landis

Floyd Landis will undergo hip replacement surgery in two weeks time, before preparing to defend...

Floyd Landis will undergo hip replacement surgery in two weeks time, before preparing to defend himself against the US Anti-Doping Agency in his doping case. Landis confirmed this in an interview with USA Today's Sal Ruibal, as well as expressing his frustration at the way his affair has been handled by the UCI and WADA.

"I just got the information on the 'A' sample a day and half ago," he said on the weekend. "I had to find out about the 'B' from reading it in the media." The UCI released the news about Landis' A sample on July 27 - a rare, if not unprecedented move from the world's governing body for cycling. Normally a positive drug test would not be made public until the results of both the 'A' and 'B' samples were confirmed positive, protecting the athlete in case the 'B' sample was negative. But news travels like wildfire when there are doping cases, and the UCI was afraid that L'Equipe, which has close ties with the Paris lab that performed the analysis, would receive the results via a leak and publish them anyway.

Landis pointed out to USA Today that American sprinter Justin Gatlin's positive "A" test for a high testosterone:epitesosterone ratio was not announced by track and field officials for three months, "while I had only two days to react to mine."

Landis continues to deny that he took testosterone to boost his performance in stage 17, when he vaulted back into Tour de France contention with a remarkable 130 km breakaway ride. "I put in more than 20,000 kilometres of training for the Tour," he said. I won the Tour of California, Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia. I was tested eight times at the Tour; four times before that stage and three times after, including three blood tests. Only one came back positive. Nobody in their right mind would take testosterone just once; it doesn't work that way."

As for the reasons that have been given so far (some by his legal team, even more by his fans) to explain his anomalous results, Landis claimed that he had been "...forced to defend myself in the media. It would never have happened if UCI and WADA had followed their own rules."

One thing that Landis doesn't believe is that someone from his team either inadvertently or purposely gave him synthetic testosterone. "Zero chance," he commented.

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