Landis wants 'B' tests done in LA

Dr Jacques de Ceaurriz, LNDD director - did his lab commit errors important enough to invalidate the test results?

Dr Jacques de Ceaurriz, LNDD director - did his lab commit errors important enough to invalidate the test results? (Image credit: AFP)

One day after the news came out that the arbitration panel appointed in the Floyd Landis case has approved USADA's request to test the seven 'B' urinary samples taken from the rider at last year's Tour de France, Landis has again opposed the idea. According to an AP report, the winner of the 2006 Tour de France, who tested positive on one occasion for an elevated testosterone:epitestosterone ratio during the event, said the tests weren't necessary because the 'A' samples had been tested negative.

However, if the tests must take place, Landis was reported to want them analysed at the UCLA lab that handles much of USADA's testing, and not in the at the Chatenay Malabry laboratory in Paris, where the initial adverse analytical finding was established. Landis' defense strategy has focused on discrediting the French WADA-accredited lab by questioning its practices. Yet, this was one of the very reasons for the arbitration panel to allow for the 'B' sample testing.

"The Panel’s expert will identify if there are flaws in the testing equipment. That expert will determine if the methodologies are flawed," it said in the ruling.

Still, the Landis camp objects the decision. "The UCLA lab is widely regarded as the best in the world, and I have full confidence that if these samples were tested there that they would come back negative, as would have my stage 17 test from the Tour de France," Landis said. "This is why I've requested that they test the samples at UCLA, a request that USADA has repeatedly denied."

But former UCLA head Don Catlin, who recently stepped down, said that the laboratory could not provide what Landis was hoping for, anyway. "We couldn't do (the tests)," he said. "It was very clear and the reason we couldn't do them is that we had one instrument, and it was down." The particular test method needed is an instrument able to perform 'IRMS' testing to show evidence of exogenous testosterone.

Furthermore, Catlin said that the laboratory of Chatenay Malabry was bound to the same procedure standards than UCLA. "A WADA lab is a WADA lab," he continued. "I know they're card-carrying, full-fledged members of the (World Anti-Doping Agency) system. WADA holds everyone to standards. They do that with an iron club."

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

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

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