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Floyd Landis in 2006 giving a press conference after testing positive in the Tour de France
French court winds up hacking investigation
The prosecutor investigating claims that Floyd Landis attempted to hack the computer of the French anti-doping agency in an apparent quest to change the data in his 2006 Tour de France doping case, has recommended the American be given an 18-month suspended sentence.
An identical penalty has been recommended for Landis' coach Arnie Baker, who is also named in the case.
The Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre issued an arrest warrant on January 28 which was valid only for France.
Landis tested positive for testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France. His doping controls were handled by the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory. In November 2006, the lab reported that its computer systems had been infected with a "Trojan Horse" virus, which was used by someone to access the lab's confidential documents. The lab said that data had been removed or changed, allegedly in an attempt to discredit the work of the organisation.
The main character in the trial is Alain Quiros, who worked for a company named Kargus Consultants. He is accused of having hacked computer systems and illegally retrieved thousands of confidential documents for a multitude of clients, including Landis.
Further investigations however revealed more hackings, involving big industrial clients such as French energy firm EDF, who allegedly asked Quiros to spy on Greenpeace.
Quiros is reported to be held accountable also for breaking into the systems of Luxembourg firms Eurolux and Heine, who allegedly intervened in doubtful commission payments for the sale of submarines to Pakistan in 1994. This information led to a bigger investigation for presumed corruption, which currently involves several persons close to French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Landis, however, has denied being involved in any hacking activity or using any illegally obtained material and neither he nor Baker have been present for the hearings.