French lab errors might doom case against Landis

23rd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

LOS ANGELES, Feb 23, 2007 (AFP) - Embattled Tour de France winner Floyd Landis received a boost in his fight against a positive doping test after French lab records showed a protocol violation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

LOS ANGELES, Feb 23, 2007 (AFP) - Embattled Tour de France winner Floyd Landis received a boost in his fight against a positive doping test after French lab records showed a protocol violation, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The newspaper reported Tuesday that the French laboratory which found the positive results against Landis had two technicians involved in the original urinalysis and the confirming test, validating their own findings.

Such access to both samples violates anti-doping regulations and supports Landis's contention that numerous errors in the chain of care regarding the tests and samples should invalidate the doping positive.

A similar mistake made by the same lab in 2005 resulted in the dismissal of doping charges against Spanish cyclist Inigo Landaluze in December, the Times reported.

The French lab records were given to Landis's lawyers, and subsequently reviewed by the newspaper, ahead of a May 14 hearing before a US arbitration panel, where Landis will make his case to have the doping violation thrown out.

Landis, 31, would be stripped of his Tour de France victory and given a two-year ban unless the positive is thrown out under World Anti-Doping Agency appeal guidelines.

Landis also faces a French government probe but that has been delayed until after the WADA inquiry following the American's promise not to race in France this year, ending any chance of defending his title.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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