Landis team to present more defense evidence on Friday

Arnie Baker

Arnie Baker (Image credit: Mitch Clinton)

By Shane Stokes

Additional details which Floyd Landis’ defence team will use in their efforts to clear the Tour de France winner’s name will be released on Friday. Dr. Arnie Baker will present an updated version of the Floyd Landis slide show which details the arguments his defence team will use against the charges that he took testosterone during this year’s Tour.

According to a posting on the cyclist’s website, Baker will explain these new details while speaking at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona at 5:30 p.m. The site bills the updated slideshow as featuring “additional scientific arguments supporting Landis’ innocence against allegations of doping in the 2006 Tour de France.”

The presentation will take place on the eve of the 16th El Tour de Tucson, a 112-mile fundraising bicycle ride which is expected to attract 5,000 participants.

Landis and Dr. Baker set the a course record time back in 1997 when they finished first in the All Male Tandem Class, covering the distance in 4 hours 12 minutes.

Baker was quoted in the Arizona Daily Star this week as saying that he had serious concerns about the charges against Landis. "I looked at that package, and now I have a lot of facts. Now I have something to say," he said. "I was astonished at the lack of quality of the documents, or the apparent lack of quality from the lab of their analysis.

"He knows what he did or didn't do. He's saying this doesn't make sense. Somewhere along the line, someone's gonna figure it out."

Baker said that there was a 50-50 chance of Landis coming to Tucson, although it is unlikely he would take part in the ride. El Tour founder Richard DeBernardis has been in contact with the former Phonak rider by email and told the Daily Star that he hoped he would be in attendance.

"I'm still hoping that Floyd would come," DeBernardis said. "We just want Floyd to be here because it's one of his favorite events in the country. My personal opinion is that it would be a great thing for him," DeBernardis said. "He needs to know that there's a great number of cyclists that believe that he is being honest, that he is being truthful and that he is innocent.

"That's what I want to do for him, to back him regardless of how this thing turns out. It's got to be a shocking thing-to win the greatest race in the world and then be accused of doping."

The Landis case took a bizarre twist on Tuesday due to claims printed in L’Equipe that a hacker broke into the central email server of the Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory (LNDD), then sent emails purporting to be from the lab to sports institutions such as the UCI, IOC, and WADA. These emails reportedly attempted to highlight inaccuracies in the testing processes and procedures carried out by the lab.

According to L'Equipe, a person with close ties to Landis is suspected by investigators as being the author of the e-mails.

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