It's a black day in cycling. As most everyone expected, even Floyd Landis, the much-anticipated “B” sample came back positive.
The 30-year-old Tour de France winner was immediately fired by the Phonak team. He'll probably lose his Tour de France championship as well, depending on the action of the US Anti-Doping Agency.
Here's the statement from the UCI:
“The UCI communicates that the analysis of the sample B of Floyd Landis's urine has confirmed the result of an adverse analytical finding notified by the Anti-doping laboratory of Paris on 26th July, following the analysis of the sample A.
In accordance to the Anti-doping rules, the Anti-doping Commission of the UCI will request that the USA Cycling Federation open a disciplinary procedure against the rider.”
What should Landis do? Will he continue to proclaim his innocence? Or will he fess up?
One of Landis' attorney, Howard L. Jacobs of Los Angeles, told VeloNews that he's waiting to receive “full laboratory documentation” from the “B” sample to consult with medical experts.
The “B” sample was opened Thursday at the Laboratoire National de Depistage du Dopage (LNDD) in Châtenay-Malabry in front of Jose Maria Buxeda, Landis' Spanish lawyer, as well as officials from the US Anti-Doping Agency and UCI.
Landis' “A” sample tested for a high ratio of testosterone compared to epitestosterone. Results of the “B” sample will be sent to the USADA, which will decide on sanctions against Landis, such as a two-year suspension and loss of his Tour de France championship.
This is how it will go down for Landis, according to UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest:
The UCI sends the doping documentation to the USADA, which gives it to a review panel. The panel makes its recommendations (such as a two-year suspension), which are forwarded to USA Cycling, the World Anti-Doping Agency, and UCI. Landis can decide to appeal at this point, which could take six months.
More at CyclingNews.