Follow-up tests of Floyd Landis?s urine samples from the 2006 Tour de France have tested positive for traces of synthetic testosterone, French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Monday.
L’Equipe said in a story on their website (www.equipe.fr) that the B samples were positive for the so-called IRMS test that can identify if the testosterone is synthetic.
The original A samples tested during the Tour de France were positive for the testosterone to epitestosterone (T:E) ratio analysis, and at the time were not tested using the IRMS technique. The analysis of Landis? B samples was requested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency as part of their investigation into Landis? original positive during the 2006 Tour de France. The additional testing was carried out over the weekend in the same Paris anti-doping lab that discovered Landis? first positive last summer.
Floyd Landis has always denied taking illegal performance enhancing drugs and has mounted a fierce public defence campaign before facing an anti-doping disciplinary hearing in the USA on May 14.
Landis and his lawyers have always contested the tests carried out by the Paris lab and Landis? spokesman Michael Henson claimed on Monday that the head of the French lab had prevented the Landis? representatives, Paul Scott and Simon Davis, from entering the lab Sunday to witness the testing.
“According to Scott, LNDD lab director Jacques de Ceaurriz did not allow him to enter the facility Sunday morning. Ceaurriz cited direct orders from USADA to prohibit any further observation of the ongoing retesting,” Henson said in a statement on Landis? website (www.floydlandis.com).
“As such, the analysis of two samples was conducted without a Landis representative as witness. Such behavior constitutes a clear and direct infringement of Landis’ rights while casting severe doubt on the integrity of an already dubious process.”
“This latest incident comes on the heels of a week in which Landis’ observers have been repeatedly and improperly restricted from accessing key phases of data processing and analysis while USADA’s expert and lawyer were able to have free lab access and directed the retesting process of LNDD.?
Floyd Landis claimed that his rights to a fair investigation and testing had again been damaged.
?This is yet another in a series of malicious actions by USADA that tramples my right to have my case heard in fair and just way,? Landis said in the statement.
?How can I be expected to prove my innocence while USADA endeavors to break their own rules at every turn? I?m infuriated by the behavior of USADA and the LNDD. Together, they have turned this proceeding into a full-scale attack on my civil rights and a mockery of justice.?
Pierre Bordry, president of the French anti-doping agency, told the Associated Press news agency that the incident had taken place but said it stemmed from a prior agreement stipulating that Landis’ expert would attend the test with two USADA experts. Smith was apparently excluded on Sunday because the USADA experts didn’t show up, Bordry claimed.
If doping accusations against Landis are confirmed in the hearing on May 14, Landis faces a two-year ban from racing and would become the first rider in the 104-year history of the Tour to be stripped of overall victory. He already has agreed not to compete in this year’s event while the case is on going.