Floyd Landis responded today to a report in the French newspaper L'Equipe that the US anti-doping agency is requested testing of five other 'B' samples taken during the 2006 Tour de France, calling the request "illegal", and saying that "testing should have been done right the first time."
Of the six samples Landis gave during the Tour, only one came back with elevated testosterone:epitestosterone ratios 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 samples subjected to the same analysis. But Landis and his attorneys are calling the lab's past results and methods into question, and are objecting to further testing by the French lab.
According to a 'Floyd Fairness Fund' press release, the original request for re-testing came from United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) general counsel Travis Tygart in late December, and proposed further testing of the 'B' portion of the five other 'A' samples at the Labaratoire National Depistage de Dopage's (LNDD) laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry." Landis' team is objecting to the same lab whose practices they find issue with getting another chance to test more of his samples.
"I am 100% confident that if best practice in process and technology were applied to testing my sample back in July," said Landis, "I would be racing my bike this season. With all that we have learned, however, I am very concerned regarding the LNDD's handling of my samples..." He also questioned why USADA would make such a request. "It's impossible to understand USADA's motivation for this move, unless it's simply another way to drain my resources in this fight to clear my name."
The press release states that "USADA's request for further analysis of "B" samples is in clear violation the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code and Union Cyclist International (UCI) rules and is unprecedented in athlete anti-doping cases." However, WADA legal director Olivier Niggli told L'Equipe that "The World Anti-Doping Code allows additional analysis on B samples only [as the A samples have already been used - ed.] when there is a need for it in the procedure."
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