Landis lawyer to appeal over 'inconsistencies'

11th September 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 9, 2006 (AFP) - A lawyer for Floyd Landis has called on the United States Anti-Doping Agency to drop a doping investigation into the Tour de France winner because of inconsistencies in testing procedures.

PARIS, Sept 9, 2006 (AFP) - A lawyer for Floyd Landis has called on the United States Anti-Doping Agency to drop a doping investigation into the Tour de France winner because of inconsistencies in testing procedures.

Landis succeeded compatriot Lance Armstrong as the yellow jersey winner on July 23, only to find out in the press a few days later he had tested positive for the banned male sex hormone testosterone.

A second 'B' sample, carried out in the presence of Landis and his lawyer, confirmed the first test.

Landis has since protested his innocence but will be stripped of the Tour de France victory if and when a sanction is handed down by his national cycling federation.

However the American's lawyer, Howard Jacobs, said Friday that the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) - who have launched their own investigation into the affair - should drop the case because it is not watertight.

Jacobs said he and a team of scientific experts reviewed 370 pages of documentation from the French laboratory where Landis's test was handled.

And he says he will now submit a request to USADA on September 11 recommending they drop the allegations against Landis.

"In our review of the documents detailing the tests on both the 'A' and 'B' sample, we have found evidence that supports our request for USADA to drop the doping charges against Landis," said Jacobs on the rider's website, www.floydlandis.com.

"While I cannot comment on the full details of our findings, we now have the foundation for a very strong defence should the case proceed to arbitration."

If USADA recommends that the case proceed to arbitration, then Landis and Jacobs will invoke for the first time a rule of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) that allows for athletes contesting doping charges to request that their hearing be made open to the public.

The review board will make a recommendation to USADA within one week of the written submission.

Jacobs added: "Once again, we are asking for complete transparency in this process. Floyd has maintained his innocence from the outset and what we have found in the official document package points to a premature public conviction before all of the evidence could be considered.

"This is another example why the leaking of an 'A' sample results and violating the athletes' right to anonymity is such a horrible thing.

"It is this exact scenario that caused the rules governing anti-doping cases in the United States to be amended in 2004, to allow an athlete concerned about fairness to request that a hearing be opened to the public."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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