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Landis blames French lab for positive test

By Agence France Presse

This report filed September 11, 2006

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis blames his positive doping test on the French laboratory that examined his sample, according to a story in a Pennsylvania newspaper published Sunday.

In a story posted on the website of the Intelligencer of suburban Philadelphia, Landis confirmed plans to ask Monday that the result be thrown out because of "contradictions" between his "A" and "B" samples.

"On Monday we'll submit a request for the case to be dropped because, based on the 'A' and the 'B' sample, there are too many contradictions for the two to be the same sample," Landis said.

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong fought similar charges of taking banned substances from the same lab that tested Landis's samples, the U.S. cyclist said.

"It's the same lab that we're dealing with here," Landis said. "I said from the beginning there was some kind of agenda or problem with the tests, and it's clear now the lab is the source of the problem."

Landis won the Tour de France in July, thanks largely to an amazing 17th-stage triumph, but a doping test from that stage showed him positive for a skewed testosterone-epitestosterone ratio, and the case has been referred to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

Armstrong, who retired after seven consecutive Tour titles, has been a constant source of support, Landis said.

"I speak to him maybe once a week," Landis said. "It's obviously not fun. Nobody would choose to go through this. But the good thing is he is the one guy who understands the whole situation."

Landis made his remarks during a surprise appearance at the 50-mile Criterium of Doylestown at the invitation of the event promoter, according to the Intelligencer.

Howard Jacobs, Landis's attorney, said last Friday in a posting on Landis's web site that he will ask Monday that the case be dropped. Landis confirmed that plan and indicated what might come later.

"Assuming they disagree with that, then we will go to arbitration with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency ... so Monday we make a submittal. Later in the week, Friday, I guess, they will decide whether it goes to a hearing or not.

"If it does, they'll decide on a date then and I assume it will be December or January."

Landis, who is from nearby Lancaster, said his legal team had to wait until last Friday to obtain the results of the "B" sample that confirmed his positive result.

"The 'B' sample was tested five weeks ago now, almost six weeks ago, but we waited until last Friday to get back the results. So we've been unable to do anything other than speculate why they came out that way," Landis said.

Landis's legal team must now examine nearly 400 pages of documents supporting the positive test.

"They obviously announced that vaguely they were positive. But we were given now almost 400 pages of documents for the actual tests to analyze," Landis said.

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Note that he is going to ask for the hearing to be open to the public - must be confident!??!!



September 8th, 2006

Los Angeles, September 8, 2006 ? Howard Jacobs, attorney for 2006 Tour de France Champion Floyd Landis, today announced that he will submit a formal request to USADA on September 11 recommending that the anti-doping agency drop the allegations against Landis and cease further disciplinary action.

Upon review of 370 pages of documentation provided by the LNDD laboratory at Chatenay-Malabry, Jacobs and a team of scientific experts have found inconsistencies in the testing protocol and methodology that support Landis? innocence. Jacobs received the official document package on August 31.

?In our review of the documents detailing the tests on both the ?A? and ?B? sample, we have found evidence that supports our request for USADA to drop the doping charges against Landis,? said Jacobs. ?While I cannot comment on the full details of our findings, we now have the foundation for a very strong defense should the case proceed to arbitration.?

If USADA recommends that the case proceed to arbitration, then Landis and Jacobs will invoke for the first time a rule of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) that allows for athletes contesting doping charges to request that their hearing be made open to the public. The review board will make a recommendation to USADA within one week of the written submission.

?Once again, we are asking for complete transparency in this process. Floyd has maintained his innocence from the outset and what we have found in the official document package points to a premature public conviction before all of the evidence could be considered,? added Jacobs. ?This is another example why the leaking of an ?A? sample results and violating the athletes? right to anonymity is such a horrible thing. It is this exact scenario that caused the Rules governing anti-doping cases in the United States to be amended in 2004, to allow an athlete concerned about fairness to request that a hearing be opened to the public.?

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