Tour de France winner outlines doping defence

12th October 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Oct 12, 2006 (AFP) - Tour de France winner Floyd Landis on Thursday released a detailed online presentation which he claims proves his innocence after he tested positive for testosterone during his yellow jersey campaign.

PARIS, Oct 12, 2006 (AFP) - Tour de France winner Floyd Landis on Thursday released a detailed online presentation which he claims proves his innocence after he tested positive for testosterone during his yellow jersey campaign.

The American, who tested positive for the banned male sex hormone after the race's 17th stage, has always protested his innocence and is hoping the several hundreds of pages of evidence will help clear his name.

So far Landis has not been sanctioned. He is scheduled to present his case to an arbitration panel in a few months time in the hope that alleged inconsistencies in the testing procedures will clear his name.

In the event of a sanction, Landis would become the first winner of the world's most famous bike race to lose the yellow jersey for a doping offence.

Early Thursday, Landis posted a presentation prepared by Arnie Baker, a retired doctor and longtime coach and adviser, as well as several hundred pages of documents related to the charges on his website.

The American and his lawyer, Howard Jacobs, were already given short shrift when a review board from the United States Anti Doping Agency (USADA) last month rejected their pleas for a dismissal of the case.

Landis's most recent efforts to clear his name focus mainly on alleged procedural errors made by the French laboratory which dealt with his samples.

His presentation claims to highlight inconsistencies in both the paperwork and the results provided by the lab which reported abnormal ratios of testosterone to epitestosterone in both Landis's samples, as well as the presence of synthetic testosterone.

Also on the online presentation, Landis's defence team claim the lab incorrectly labelled samples and ignored the World Anti-Doping Agency testing standards and chain-of-custody protocol, among numerous other mistakes.

"The whole process has been full of errors," Baker concludes at one point in the presentation.

After having his pleas rejected by the USADA, Landis will now present a formal appeal to a panel from the American Arbitration Society early in 2007.

Landis, 30, last week underwent successful surgery for a hip replacement after it was badly damaged in a crash.

It meant the American, who grew up in a strict Mennonite Christian community in Pennsylvania, had been racing for the past couple of seasons with a serious hip condition which required him to use pain-killing drugs.

After testing positive, Landis claimed several factors could have accounted for the result, including thyroid medication, cortisone injections he was taking for his damaged hip and his body's tendency to produce too much testosterone.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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