Another brick in the wall for Floyd
By Jeff Jones
The UCI has announced the official results of the analysis of Floyd Landis' B sample, which has confirmed the A sample result of an "adverse analytical finding" in Landis' urine. The news of the A sample was reported last week, with Phonak announcing that Landis had a high testosterone:epitestosterone ratio, and a UCI source confirming that an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry test (IRMS) had also been done, revealing the presence of exogenous testosterone (contained within, but originating from outside the body) in the sample.
The sample was taken after Landis won the 17th stages of the Tour de France in Morzine, after a 130 km breakaway. The analysis was performed by the laboratory of Chatenay-Malabry in Paris over the last two days.
"In accordance to the Anti-doping rules, the Anti-doping Commission of the UCI will request that the USA Cycling Federation open a disciplinary procedure against the rider," said the UCI in a statement. If found guilty of taking performance enhancing drugs, Landis faces up to a two year ban from the sport and the stripping of his Tour de France title, which would go to Oscar Pereiro. Landis has also been fired by his Phonak team, which will comment on the case in the next few days.
Floyd Landis and his legal camp have denied that Landis ever used performance enhancing drugs. "I have never taken any banned substance, including testosterone," said Landis. "I was the strongest man in the Tour de France, and that is why I am the champion. I will fight these charges with the same determination and intensity that I bring to my training and racing. It is now my goal to clear my name and restore what I worked so hard to achieve."
Landis' legal team criticised the UCI for announcing the results of the A sample without knowing the B sample result, believing that Landis' rights had been violated. They have also claimed that his high T:E ratio arose from natural causes, and that the IRMS test, that showed exogenous tesosterone, is "unreliable". However, anti-doping experts such as Christiane Ayotte, director of the anti-doping lab in Montreal, Canada, have strongly defended their testing methods.
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