The panel hearing doping accusations against Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has granted a request made by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to have French lab Chatenay-Malabry test the 'B' urine samples taken during the race, even though the 'A' samples collected simultaneously tested negative.
Of the seven samples Landis gave during the Tour, only one came back with an elevated testosterone:epitestosterone ratio during the 'A' sample analysis, and only that one sample was subjected to carbon isotope testing to determine whether the source of the testosterone was not naturally made in his body. The 'IRMS' testing showed evidence of exogenous testosterone in Landis' sample, and now the US Anti-Doping Agency wants the rest of his 'B' samples subjected to the same analysis.
Of course, this analysis would not result in new doping charges for Landis, even if the tested 'B' samples came back positive. On the contrary, USADA hopes that the procedure will shed some light into the testing methods used at the Chatenay Malabry laboratory in Paris, where the initial adverse analytical finding was established. The Landis camp previously objected to the testing of the samples.
However, in the arbitrator's ruling, it is said that "further 'B' sample testing is not within the two sample protocol because the result does not lead to an adverse analytical finding. The argument of the Respondent [Landis - ed.] is one to put up a protective shield that would never permit anyone knowing what the 'B' tests might reveal. That is not a search for the truth or to understand all the facts involved in the matter."
Further, the panel argued that "in making the foregoing ruling, if the methodologies of the Lab are indeed flawed, as alleged by the Respondent, then, the appointment of an expert by the Panel to review the operation of the Lab’s IRMS and GC/MS equipment will provide the protection for the Athlete. The Panel’s expert will identify if there are flaws in the testing equipment. Therefore, the interests of the Athlete are protected in permitting an analysis of the 'B' samples through the role of the Panel’s expert. That expert will have determined if the methodologies are flawed."
Landis' hearing is scheduled to begin on May 14, 2007, in Malibu, California.
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