Landis on trial for hacking charges

French court hears case against former cyclist

Floyd Landis faces trial this week on charges that he attempted to hack the computer of the French anti-doping agency, in an apparent attempt to change the data in his 2006 Tour de France doping case. Neither Landis nor his coach Arnie Baker, who is also named in the case, are expected to attend but international arrest warrants were issued in January 2010.

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.

According to Reuters, the case began in 2006 when the anti-doping lab complained of  intrusions into its computer system. These were traced back to Quiros, and said to be done on behalf of 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.

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