More bad news for Floyd Landis

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Synthetic testosterone was detected in the Floyd Landis urine sample taken after Stage 17 at the Tour de France, an unidentified worker in the Union Cycliste Internationale's anti-doping department told the New York Times.

If true — none of this is official, the latest comes from an unidentified source — it would fly in the face of the Tour de France winner's contention that the high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone was a natural condition of his physiology.

The carbon isotope analysis for synthetic or exogenous testosterone (not ordinarily capable of being produced by the body naturally) was conducted on the same sample that showed the “abnormal level” of testosterone in a urine sample taken within 30 minutes of Landis' memorable Stage 17 win in the Alps, the unidentified source told the Times.

The Chatenay-Malabry lab in France performed the test after it detected the skewed level of testosterone-epitestosterone. Landis' doctor, Brent Kay, said the cyclist's testosterone-epitestosterone level was 11-to-1; the World Anti-Doping Agency doesn't allow a ratio greater than 4-to-1.

“B” sample

Still to be tested is the “B” sample, which was taken at the same time as the original sample. “B” samples are saved for later use to confirm findings from the original sample.

Although the original Phonak press release last Thursday said Landis had already asked for the “B” sample test, Landis officially made that request today. (I had repeated an earlier Eurosport report that the “B” sample results might be ready Monday. That was in error.)

Oddly enough, there is even a dispute about who asked for the followup test. While the AP reports that Landis and his attorney separately asked for the test, UCI's president Pat McQuaid said neither the UCI nor the lab received the request, so McQuaid asked for it.

McQuaid told the Times that the test takes 2 1/2 days and he's anxious to get this over with before the lab breaks for a two-week vacation.

“This needs to be put to rest because there is too much innuendo, too much talk, too much damage being done to our sport. We have to get this process done quickly, so we can move on.”

I wonder what his reaction is to someone on his staff adding to the innuendo by leaking information.

Procycling has more about the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry test and exogenous (not naturally occurring) testosterone. Also, here's the World Anti-Doping Agency's guidelines for elevated T/E ratios.

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