Landis sacked over second doping test result

7th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

GENEVA, Aug 5, 2006 (AFP) - The Phonak cycling team sacked Tour de France winner Floyd Landis on Saturday after his B sample confirmed that he tested positive for excess levels of testosterone during the race.

GENEVA, Aug 5, 2006 (AFP) - The Phonak cycling team sacked Tour de France winner Floyd Landis on Saturday after his B sample confirmed that he tested positive for excess levels of testosterone during the race.

Team owner Andy Rihs said he was examining the impact on his company of the affair, which marks the fifth time a Phonak rider has failed anti-doping tests in the past two years.

"The Phonak Cycling Team has learned today from the International Cycling Union (UCI) that team captain Floyd Landis' B sample has also resulted in a positive finding of doping," the team said in a statement.

"As a result, Landis will be dismissed without notice for violating the teams internal Code of Ethics."

Phonak underlined that Landis was legally entitled to contest the findings of the tests.

"However, this will be his personal affair and the Phonak team will no longer be involved in that," it added.

Rihs and team general manager John Lelangue are due to hold a press conference in the next few days to outline the consequences the doping scandal may have on his company, ARcycling, which runs the Phonak Cycling Team.

Rihs, a successful businessman and a cycling fan, ordered a major shake-up last season in the wake of a rash of doping scandals and sacked team managers.

Lelangue, a Belgian with top level experience in cycling management and was at one time part of the management team for the Tour de France, was drafted into the Swiss-based team.

In 2004, three top Phonak riders failed doping tests in swift succession and were subsequently banned.

They included then team leader and Olympic time trial gold medallist Tyler Hamilton and 2004 Tour of Spain runner-up Santiago Perez — both for illicit blood transfusions — and 1998 world champion Oscar Camezind for EPO (erythropoietin).

The UCI originally excluded Phonak from the Pro Tour at the beginning of 2005 because of the doping incidents. But the team won back its place later that season after a legal appeal.

More recently, Sascha Urweider was sacked by the team after he also tested positive for excess testosterone in February. The 25 year-old Swiss cyclist was banned by the Swiss Olympic federation for two years.

Despite the wholesale shake-up - which was due to include a name change with a new top sponsor next year - and a self-declared ethics code, the Swiss team's troubles may not end there.

Giro runner-up Jose Enrique Gutierrez and Colombian Santiago Botero were provisionally dropped by the team on June 2, but not formally suspended, after they were named in media reports on the massive "Operation Puerto" doping probe in Spain.

"If further investigations show that the riders have used methods that are not permitted, they will of course be dismissed immediately", Lelangue said.

A Spanish police report found that Botero was listed in the accounts of the Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who allegedly ran a doping network that drew in some of cycling's top names, German anti-doping campaigner Werner Franke said Friday.

Until 2002 to 2003, Botero and Gutierrez both raced for Kelme, where Eufemiano Fuentes was team doctor.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article