Landis loses doping case; faces 2-year ban

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Panel questions some lab results

The three-judge arbitration panel that heard the doping case of Floyd Landis this spring has voted 2-1 to uphold the allegation that the American used synthetic testosterone during last year's Tour de France.

The ruling means that Landis faces a two-year ban from professional cycling, retroactive to Jan. 30, 2007, and that he must forfeit his Tour de France championship.

Oddly enough, however, Landis won a major part of his argument about the French lab doing sloppy work, but lost the case.

Panel rejects results

The panel rejected the results from testosterone-epitestosterone ratio tests conducted by the French lab, determining that the tests were not performed according to World Anti-Doping Agency rules.

The lab's finding of postive T-E tests after Stage 17 triggered the more complicated carbon-isotope ration analysis tests for synthetic testosterone, which the panel nailed Landis on.

In first reporting the story, the Associated Press says that part of the ruling vindicates part of Landis's claims that the Chatenay-Malabry did sloppy work.


In dissent, Christopher Campbell wrote:

“Also, the T-E ratio test is acknowledged as a simple test to run. The IRMS test is universally acknowledged as a very complicated test to run, requiring much skill. If the LNDD couldn't get the T-E ratio test right, how can a person have any confidence that LNDD got the much more complicated IRMS test correct?”

Landis can appeal the panel's decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. No decision has been announced. In a statement, Landis said:

“This ruling is a blow to athletes and cyclists everywhere. For the Panel to find in favor of USADA when, with respect to so many issues, USADA did not manage to prove even the most basic parts of their case shows that this system is fundamentally flawed. I am innocent, and we proved I am innocent.”

The US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart said, “Today's ruling is a victory for all clean athletes and everyone who values fair and honest competition.”

Credibility questioned

Whether it's a win or a loss for the athletes, the publicity surrounding the case certainly raised questions about how the USADA and WADA conducts its affairs and impugned the credibility of the lab in France that conducts all the tests for athletes in the Tour de France.

As expected, the Trust But Verify blog is all over the news.

Check for more.

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