Dick Pound, the head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) expressed his total confidence on Wednesday in the French Chatenay-Malabry lab that tested Floyd Landis' samples from the 2006 Tour de France.
The lab has reported elevated testosterone levels and evidence of synthetic testosterone found those samples, but throughout his defense, Landis and his lawyers have questioned the credibility of the French Lab, noting procedural mistakes.
"It is an accredited laboratory by WADA," Pound said during a conference call according to the Associated Press. "That means it has met some very stringent quality-control requirements in the sense of being able to detect the presence of prohibited substances in samples."
"It's one of the leading laboratories in the world and has spearheaded some of the breakthroughs in tests for EPO and so forth," Pound added. "We have no reason to think that the work done in that lab, and frankly in any of our other labs, is sub-par. We have confidence in what it's done."
Landis and his team are preparing for a May 14 arbitration hearing. The case may influence any decisions on whether he will get to keep his 2006 Tour de France victory. In the meantime, Landis has promised not to compete in the 2007 edition. If the doping allegations stand, he may also be subject to a two-year ban from competition.
In response to L'Equipe's report last week that Landis' B tests found evidence of synthetic testosterone, Pound said he did not know how the information was leaked to the press, but that it was a possible issue for discussion between WADA and the lab. "The lab itself must be concerned about that," he said.
Pound's comments follow new accusations from the Landis' team earlier this week about how the French lab of improperly handled samples and erased computer data files relating to his tests.
Also earlier this week, the French Anti-Doping Agency had requested that independent experts review testing procedures carried out on Landis' doping samples, but said that this was a routinely scheduled review and not related to recent accusations of wrongdoing from the Landis camp.