Skip to comments.Landis to learn fate at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday
Posted on 08/04/2006 11:46:39 AM PDT by commish
PARIS -- Tour de France winner Floyd Landis of the United States will learn at 5 a.m. ET on Saturday whether a test on his B sample confirms a positive test for the male sex hormone testosterone.
"We will release a statement tomorrow," an International Cycling Union (ICU) spokesman said Friday.
Saturday's announcement would cap a wild two weeks of accusations, speculation and denials, the latest of which is that dehydration might have caused Landis' elevated testosterone level.
"Maybe a combination of dehydration, maximum effort," said Jose Maria Buxeda, one of Landis' Spanish lawyers, after testing began Thursday on the cyclist's backup doping sample.
But that defense was flatly rejected by one of the world's top anti-doping officials.
"In 25 years of experience of testing testosterone ... such a huge increase in the level of testosterone cannot be accepted to come from any natural factors," said Prof. Christiane Ayotte, director of Montreal's anti-doping laboratory.
"If dehydration was the case, then marathon runners would be testing positive all the time. Tennis players would be testing positive all the time. Dehydration is a medical condition that requires hospitalization. It has been invoked in the past, but not one case -- to my knowledge -- has been successful in this argument."
Speaking at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, which is conducting the analysis, Buxeda said he expects the "B" sample to confirm the original positive result, which showed a testosterone imbalance in a July 20 urine specimen.
However, Buxeda, who was contracted to protect Landis' interests in Europe, contends a second positive sample would not be enough to find Landis guilty. He also seemed to question the validity of the French lab, which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Olympic Committee.
"I wouldn't say that they know. I would say they can presume. They do not have the certainty," Buxeda said.
By contrast, Landis is "certain" he hasn't ingested banned substances, Buxeda said.
If the "B" sample is positive, the results will be sent to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which would handle the case.
If found guilty, Landis would be stripped of the Tour de France title and banned for two years, although the process could take several months to clear any appeals.
Since July 27, when Phonak was notified of the positive doping test, the cyclist and his defense team have offered varying explanations as to why Landis turned up a testosterone-epitestosterone ratio of 11:1 in a July 20 test after he sped his way back into contention after winning the tough Stage 17 of the three-week Tour. That 11:1 ratio is nearly three times above the 4:1 limit.
Other potential causes offered have been cortisone shots taken to ease pain in Landis' degenerating hip; drinking beer and whiskey the night before stage 17; thyroid medication; or his natural metabolism.
The latest theory -- dehydration -- appears to contrast with events.
Landis pushed ahead at the 45-mile mark and then rode alone for the remainder of the 124.3-mile ride.
A jubilant Landis conceded afterward that riding in front for hours had constituted an "advantage," because it meant he was constantly within reach of his Phonak team car.
Even under a baking sun, he had far more opportunity to drink fluids than had he been trapped alongside others in the main pack, where it takes longer for team cars to reach cyclists.
As he rode up the Alps, Landis regularly splashed his face with water and gulped liquids regularly provided by the Phonak car only yards behind.
"It was nice to be alone," Landis said after the stage. "It was an advantage."
He also said he planned to drink beer that night.
Allegations that the Chatenay-Malabry lab might not be reliable also were made last week by seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong.
He previously said his urine samples might have been mishandled by the lab, defending himself against allegations by French sports daily L'Equipe that he tested positive for EPO during the 1999 Tour.
Last Friday, Armstrong told The Associated Press that he "can't help but be aware the lab that found this suspicious reading is the same one that was at the center of the L'Equipe affair."
But WADA chief Dick Pound maintained testing in an accredited lab is "properly done."
Earlier this week, a New York Times report cited a source from the International Cycling Union saying that a second analysis of Landis' "A" sample by carbon isotope ratio testing had detected synthetic testosterone -- meaning it was ingested. Landis' personal doctor, Brent Kay, also confirmed to the New York Times that the test found the man-made hormone.
On Wednesday, U.S. attorney Howard Jacobs, who also represents Landis, accused the UCI of a breach of ethics for leaking results.
"I am troubled by the actions of the UCI and how they have spoken out about this case, which is in direct contravention of the UCI's own rules and the World Anti-Doping Code," Jacobs said.
The carbon isotope testing method, however, received strong backing from the director of the Drug Control Center at London's King's College.
Calling it "the most definitive measure we have at this time," David Cowan added that "if there is a synthetic found [in the sample] than any defense is difficult to prove."
Information from The Associated Press and Reuters was used in this report.
We probably will not have an answer for months, maybe never.
it does look damning, but why would the guy dope with a substance easily tested for, after all his previous tests in the race were clean?
was he framed, or just that desperate (and stupid)?
something's not right here- but I'm not sure if it's a suspiciously convenient test result in a sport where Americans are generally hated or just incomprehensibly stupid actions on the part of Landis.
hopefully, time will tell; but if he's guilty, he deserves to become a pariah for blackening the most premier race in the sport of cycling
THat's the perplexing part of all this -- Not only did he test clean 6 times before stage 17 -- he tested clean TWICE afterward (Stage 19 and Stage 20). IF he had Synth Test in his system, and a ratio of 11:1 it seems to me it would have shown up AT LEAST on the subsequent tests also.
"Euro-peons"obviously cannot understand the high testerone levels but it is actually simple.Landis is an AMERICAN MALE!Problem solved.
He's toast and his career is over. Unless he can prove someone tampered with his sample, his anemic attempts to explain the increased levels of synthetic testosterone just don't wash. I, for one, am EXTEMELY disappointed with him.
To piggy back on that, testosterone taken today, cannot help you tomorrow. To have been the cause of his remarkable comeback, it would have to have been ingested quite a few days before.
This would set up a scenario where he would have tested positive in the days prior to and the days after stage 17.
This is a very strange situation.
True enough, HOWEVER, the fact that the elevated testosterone levels did not show up in the previous 6 tests or in the tests done 2 and 3 days later does not wash either. If you have Synth Test in your system it is there EVERY TEST. You do not test 11:1 with Synthetic test in your urine on Day 17, and NOT test with it ON DAY 15, DAY 16, DAY 19, and DAY 20.
"I want to believe him, but the evidence is beginning to be pretty damning."
Not coming from a French laboratory, especially after the way Lance Armstrong was hounded so unmercifully he turned and sued them. They just can't stand it when an American wins.
I don't trust those French knicker-knotters one bit. I believe Floyd Landis. The suspicion is on the French authorities, and they have earned it.
He's toast. Stick a fork in him.
Hoe do you explain that testosterone only showed up in one test? Besides, what benefit would taking steroids the night before a race have? Blood doping, yes. Steroids makes no sense.
I don't have the answer except to respond that he was that stupid to take it after the 16th stage when he bonked. The issue is that it was in his urine. That's all that matters regardless of how it got there.