Two technicians of the French Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage (LNDD) may be questioned at Floyd Landis' disciplinary hearing in front of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that is scheduled to start on May 14.
The laboratory, based in Châtenay-Malabry on the outskirts of Paris, processed the anti-doping tests taken at the 2006 Tour de France, including the samples that led to the charges against the race's overall winner, Landis.
One key argument by Landis' attorneys is that the same two technicians from the French government-owned lab were involved in treating the A sample of the cyclist, as well as the B sample used to confirm the A results. This may invalidate the findings, as it is said to be prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules.
Landis' attorneys have thus asked for the two technicians, Esther Cerpolini and Cynthia Mongongu, to be questioned at the hearing, the LA Times has reported.
Another argument that will be used by Landis' defense is that the lab may have operated one crucial piece of testing equipment under conditions that violated its manufacturers' specifications, moreover using software that was designed for another piece of equipment. The lab has insisted that the instrument, which was used to determine the alleged presence of artificial testosterone in the urine of the rider, was in proper working order.
The arbitration panel held a closed-door session on Thursday to consider Landis' request for more documents from the laboratory and for testimony from lab employees. The panel also considered the USADA's request to retest the nine remaining B samples of Landis from the Tour de France, while his lawyers argue that using the test results in the disciplinary case would violate current anti-doping regulations, as a match between A and B sample is no longer possible.
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