Floyd Landis


Floyd Landis

Infobox Cyclist
ridername = Floyd Landis



image_caption =
fullname = Floyd Landis
nickname =
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1975|10|14
country = United States
height = height|m=1.78
weight = convert|68|kg|lb st|abbr=on
currentteam =
discipline = Road
role = Rider
ridertype = All-rounder
protourrank =
europetourrank =
worldrank =
worldcuprank =
amateuryears =
amateurteams =
proyears = 1999-2001
2002-2004
2005-2006
proteams = Mercury Cycling Team
US Postal Service
Phonak Hearing Systems
majorwins = Paris-Nice (2006)
Tour de Georgia (2006)
Tour of California (2006)
updated = December 16, 2007

Floyd Landis (born October 14, 1975) is an American cyclist, currently suspended from competition, who was stripped of overall victory in the 2006 Tour de France for a doping offense after testing revealed a skewed testosterone/epitestosterone ratio. He is a time-trial specialist as well as a strong climber.

Landis turned professional in 1999 with the Mercury Cycling Team. He joined the US Postal Service team in 2002, and moved to the Phonak Hearing Systems team in 2005.

Landis was fired from the Phonak team on August 5, 2006, after a test result indicated an abnormally high testosterone/epitestosterone ratiocite news | url=http://www.phonak-cycling.ch/index.php?id=5&L=1&uid=330| title= Phonak Cycling Team to clarify consequences | publisher=Phonak Cycling Team | date= 2006-08-05 | accessdate= 2006-08-05] after stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France. He subsequently received a two year ban from professional racing, following an arbitration panel's 2 to 1 ruling on September 20, 2007. He appealed the result of the arbitration hearing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which subsequently upheld the panel's ruling [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/7478019.stm BBC Cycling News, June 8th 2008, Landis ban appeal is turned down] ] .

Landis remains suspended through January 30, 2009. He has been linked to the Rock Racing as an adviser during 2008.Cyclingnews.com reported on September 10, 2008 that Landis will ride for the team currently sponsored by Health Net-Maxxis, under a new title sponsor for 2009. [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2008/sep08/sep10news2]

Biography

Floyd Landis is the second child and oldest son of Paul and Arlene Landis. His childhood home is located in the unincorporated village of Farmersville in West Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. [Everson, Darren (2006, July 30). Landis lived in the Conestoga Valley School District. World Descends on Farmersville. "New York Daily News", p. 62-63.]

Landis used his first bike to ride while out fishing with a friend but quickly learned to enjoy riding for its own sake. At one point, he became determined to ride in a local race. Landis showed up wearing sweatpants because his religion forbade wearing shorts; he won anyway. More wins followed as Landis continued to enjoy the sport. Disturbed at his son's participation in what he considered a "useless" endeavor, Landis' father tried to discourage him from racing his bike by giving him extra chores. This left him no time to train during the day, so he would sneak out of the house at night to train, sometimes at 1 or 2 a.m. and often in the freezing cold. Landis' father, a devout Mennonite, [ [http://www.abc.net.au/rn/religionreport/stories/2006/1697094.htm Floyd Landis - Mennonite in tights] . "The Religion Report" 26 July 2006] received a tip that his son had been going out at night. He did not appreciate his son's passion for cycling and thought that he might be getting into drugs or alcohol. He often followed Landis at a distance to make sure he was not getting into trouble. Today, Landis' father has become a hearty supporter of his son and regards himself as one of Floyd's biggest fans. [OLN Television broadcast of the 2006 Tour de France, July 22, 2006] [cite news
last =Coyle
first =Daniel
title =The New American in Paris
publisher =Outside Magazine
date = July 2006
url =http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200607/tour-de-france-2006-floyd-landis-5.html
]

"Master of the Mountains"

Landis won the first mountain bike race he entered. In 1993, he was crowned junior national champion. He told friends he would win the Tour de France one day. At age 20, Landis moved to Southern California to train full time as a mountain biker. He soon established a reputation for toughness, once finishing a race riding on only his rims. [cite news | url = http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20060723/SPORTS/60723005 | title = Landis, Tiger rise to the occasion | work = Sierra Sun | date = 2006-07-23 ] However, his training regimen resembled that of a road biker, and in 1999 he switched to road cycling.

Landis performed well enough on the road that Lance Armstrong recruited him to U.S. Postal and chose Landis to ride alongside him in three straight Tours de France (all of which Armstrong won) from 2002 to 2004. Landis often pushed the pace in the mountains to break the pack before Armstrong made his final move. In the 2004 tour, Landis led Armstrong and a few of Armstrong's main rivals over the final climb of stage 17, putting on such an impressive display of strength that comedian and avid bike-racing fan Robin Williams dubbed him the "Mofo of the Mountains." Landis' performance led some observers to peg him as a possible team leader and future winner of the maillot jaune. Landis left US Postal later that year after receiving a better contract offer from the Phonak squad.

In the 2005 Tour de France, Landis finished ninth overall in the General Classification, his highest finish in the tour at that time.

Landis started the 2006 season strongly, with overall wins in the Amgen Tour of California, and then in the prestigious Paris-Nice, both week-long stage races. Winning Paris-Nice gave Landis 52 points in the UCI ProTour individual competition, starting him off in first place for 2006. Landis continued his display of strength with another overall win in the Ford Tour de Georgia, which took place from April 18 to April 23. In addition to winning the Tour de Georgia time trial, Landis managed to retain every second of his lead through the mountains with a close second place finish to Tom Danielson on Brasstown Bald, the most difficult climbing stage of the tour.

2006 Tour de France

In the lead-up to the 2006 Tour de France, Landis was widely mentioned as a dark horse contender. The widespread assumption was that the winner would be either Ivan Basso or Jan Ullrich, who finished second and third respectively in the 2005 tour. In the days immediately before the race, the Operación Puerto doping case forced Basso and Ullrich to withdraw, leaving Landis prominent among a field of possible favorites.

Landis' Tour did not get off to an encouraging start. When his turn came to leave the start house in the Prologue time trial, he was not even there, having suffered a cut tire on his rear disc wheel. He finished ninth in the stage, just 9 seconds behind winner Thor Hushovd. His bad luck in the time trial continued during Stage 7, a 52 kilometer individual time trial to Rennes, when a handlebar malfunction forced him to switch bikes midway through the race. Nevertheless, Landis managed to finish in second place, one minute behind T-Mobile's Serhiy Honchar of Ukraine. Landis gained an important time advantage over other top contenders for the overall victory as the racers headed into its first mountain stages.

In the second mountain stage, he was among the few that could keep up with the fierce pace set by the riders of the Rabobank team. Landis finished the stage sharing third place with Denis Menchov and Levi Leipheimer. He retained the overall lead until Stage 13, when he and his team let a breakaway group get a half-hour lead in the stage. Among the group was his former teammate Óscar Pereiro, who took the overall lead by 89 seconds. The assumption was that Pereiro, who had lost half an hour in the three previous mountain stages, would not be a serious contender in the Alps, and that it would be easy to win the jersey back. Indeed, in Stage 15, on the slopes of the infamous l'Alpe d'Huez, Landis outrode Pereiro by almost two minutes, regaining the jersey and a 10-second overall lead in the process.

The next day was a different story. Landis "hit the wall" on the final ascent up La Toussuire, losing ten minutes. He fell from first to eleventh place in the general classification, and Pereiro took the overall lead and was eight minutes ahead of him. Landis reportedly had a lapse in concentration and failed to eat enough during the ride in this stage.Willam Fotheringham, [http://sport.guardian.co.uk/tourdefrance2006/story/0,,1827340,00.html "After all the twists and turns a deserving ruler emerges from the anarchy"] , "The Guardian", July 24, 2006.] With only two more stages where the general classification could reasonably be contested remaining in the Tour, one more mountain stage and one time trial, it was assumed his disastrous performance would mark the end of his chance to win the Tour. Many assumed that he might not even achieve a place on the podium. Among the exceptions to this pattern of thinking was five time tour winner Eddy Merckx. Merckx bet 100 euros against 75 to 1 odds that Landis would still win the Tour. [http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/jul06/jul23news "Booty and the beast: Payday for Merckx"] , "Cycling News", July 23, 2006.] His son, Axel Merckx, was on Landis's Phonak team for the 2006 Tour.

On the following day's , Landis stunned the cycling world with a 120 km solo breakaway attack that has been called "one of the most epic days of cycling ever seen". [http://www.velonews.com/tour2006/news/articles/10505.0.html "Reactions to Landis's launch"] , "VeloNews", July 20, 2006.] The performance earned Landis comparisons to the famed rides of Eddy Merckx. At one point on the course, he was 9 minutes 4 seconds clear of Pereiro. Landis ultimately won the stage by nearly six minutes over Team CSC's Carlos Sastre and took more than seven minutes out of Pereiro's lead. At the end of the day, Landis sat in third place overall, 18 seconds behind Sastre and just 30 seconds behind the Tour leader. The next stage was a 57 km individual time trial, and Landis' strength in time trialing put him well within striking distance of regaining the tour lead. Landis finished third in the time trial of Stage 19, 89 seconds ahead of Pereiro and 3 minutes 31 seconds ahead of Sastre, to reclaim the yellow jersey with a lead of 59 seconds. Landis retained the lead through Stage 20, the procession into Paris, becoming the first placed finisher of the 2006 Tour de France by 57 seconds.

Following a drug test which was positive for the performance enhancing drug (testosterone) on Stage 17, he was eventually stripped of the 2006 Tour title, which reverted to Oscar Pereiro.

Hip ailment

The powerful performance of Landis up to Stage 16 of the Tour de France and his comeback in Stage 17 is particularly notable given his hip ailment, osteonecrosis, which was revealed in an article in "The New York Times" during the 2006 Tour de France. [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/16/magazine/16landis.html?ex=1310702400&en=699d15540a8405cc&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss "What He's Been Pedaling"] , "The New York Times", July 16, 2006.] This deterioration in the ball joint of his right hip stemmed from diminished blood supply and constricted blood vessels caused by scar tissue. The original injury that led to the formation of the scar tissue was a femoral neck fracture sustained in a bicycle crash during a training ride near his Southern California home in October 2002. Landis kept the ailment secret from his teammates, rivals, and the media until an announcement made while the 2006 Tour was underway. This same ailment also affected former multi-sport athlete Bo Jackson and American football player Brett Favre.

Landis rode the 2006 Tour with the constant pain from the injury, which he described thus: "It's bad, it's grinding, it's bone rubbing on bone. Sometimes it's a sharp pain. When I pedal and walk, it comes and goes, but mostly it's an ache, like an arthritis pain. It aches down my leg into my knee. The morning is the best time, it doesn't hurt too much. But when I walk it hurts, when I ride it hurts. Most of the time it doesn't keep me awake, but there are nights that it does." [http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/10/sports/othersports/10landis.html?ex=1153886400&en=40c7b36f2d9be0c5&ei=5070 "Landis's Hip Will Need Surgery After Bid for Tour"] , "The New York Times", July 10, 2006.]

During the Tour, Landis was medically approved to take cortisone for this injury, a medication otherwise prohibited in professional cycling for its known potential for abuse. Landis himself called his win "a triumph of persistence" despite the pain. [cite news | url = http://sport.independent.co.uk/general/article1193126.ece | title = Cycling: Landis the Tour king celebrates a triumph of survival | first = Alasdair | last = Fotheringham | date = 2006-07-24 | accessdate = 2006-07-28 | publisher = The Independent (subscription required)] Landis underwent successful hip resurfacing surgery on September 27, 2006.

Doping investigation

On July 27, 2006 the Phonak Cycling Team announced Floyd Landis had a urine test come back positive, having an unusually high ratio of the hormone testosterone to the hormone epitestosterone (T/E ratio) after the epic performance in Stage 17. [cite news | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/5221122.stm | title=Landis gives positive drugs test | publisher=BBC Sport | date= 2006-07-27 | accessdate= 2006-08-01] Landis denied having doped and placed faith in a test using his backup sample. [cite news | first= Mar| last=Toman| author= | title=Landis requests backup sample to clear doping allegations | date= 2006-07-31 | accessdate= 2006-08-01] Phonak stated that he would be dismissed should the backup sample also test positive. It did, and Landis was suspended from professional cycling and dismissed from his team. [cite news|title=Landis gives positive drugs test|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/5221122.stm|date=2006-07-27|publisher=BBC News] Landis's personal physician later disclosed that the test had found a T/E ratio of 11:1 in Landis, far above the maximum allowable ratio of 4:1. [cite news
url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/5237990.stm
title= Landis sample 'well above limit'
work=
publisher= BBC News
date= 2006-08-02
accessdate=2006-08-02
] cite news | first= Juliet | last= Macur | author= | url= http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/31/sports/othersports/31cnd-landis.html
title= Testosterone in Landis’s Body Said Not to Be Natural | work= | publisher= New York Times | date= 2006-07-31 | accessdate=2006-08-01
]

The test on Landis's Stage 17 A sample had been performed by the French government's anti-doping clinical laboratory, the National Laboratory for Doping Detection (LNDD). LNDD is a division of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, and Social Life and is accredited by WADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency. [cite news | first= John
last= Eustice
url= http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/16/opinion/edeustice.php
title= What if Floyd Landis were innocent?
work=
publisher= International Herald Tribune
date= 2006-08-16
accessdate=2006-08-16
]

Under the rules of the International Cycling Union (UCI), Landis had five days to request independent verification using the backup sample. However, after just four days, on July 31, the UCI, claiming that Landis had yet to act, preempted him by requesting that the same lab be the one to test the backup sample. The UCI announced, "We have done this so the whole thing can be speeded up. We took this decision because of the importance of the case. Also, the longer it goes on the more damage the sport risks suffering." In response, a spokesman for Landis insisted that the cyclist had asked on July 31 for testing of the backup sample. Had the UCI not intervened and had Landis waited the full five days before requesting testing of his backup sample, the test result would not have been forthcoming for several weeks since LNDD closes during August, [cite news | url= http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/5233476.stm | title= Pressure mounts for Landis B test | work=BBC Sport | publisher=BBC | date=2006-07-31 | accessdate=2006-08-01] as is a widespread custom among workplaces in France. The B sample confirmed the A sample, and also tested positive for an unnatural source of testosterone.cite news
last = Macur
first = Juliet
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/01/sports/othersports/01landis.html
title= New Finding Challenges Tour Champ’s Claim
publisher=New York Times
date=2006-07-31, 2006-08-01
accessdate=2006-08-01
]

Following the reported positive drug test on his A sample, Landis suggested that the results had been improperly released by the UCI. On August 9, 2006, UCI president Pat McQuaid rejected the claim, saying, "We acted correctly. We informed the team, the rider, and the federation that there had been an irregularity. Then we issued a press release saying that an unnamed rider had been found positive in the Tour. Landis's team published his name, two days later... I have full faith in that laboratory, and there are stringent measures kept in place by the anti-doping agencies to ensure they proceed correctly." [cite news
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14268546/
title= Cycling boss rejects Landis’ claims : ‘It is an unconditional war against doping,’ UCI chief says in interview
publisher=MSNBC
date=2006-08-09
]

USADA Arbitration

On May 14, 2007 an arbitration hearing began between the USADA and Landis regarding the doping allegations.cite news
last = L'Heureux
first = David
url=http://www.bicycling.com/article/1,6610,s1-3-343-15685-1,00.html
title= Floyd's Hearing Date Set
publisher=Bicycling
date=2007-02-07
] On September 20, 2007, the arbitrators found Landis guilty of doping. [cite news
url=http://edition.cnn.com/2007/SPORT/09/20/cycling.landis.ap/
title = Arbitrators say Landis is guilty
date=2007-09-20
accessdate=2007-09-20
]

As Landis forfeited his Tour title, the second place rider, Óscar Pereiro, became the race's official winner. The decision of whether to strip Landis of his title was made by the International Cycling Union (UCI).cite news
url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,207157,00.html
title= Backup Test Confirms Adverse Findings in Tour de France Champ Landis' Urine
publisher=FoxNews.com
date= 2006-08-05
accessdate= 2006-08-05
] Under UCI rules, the determination of whether or not a cyclist violated any rules must be made by the cyclist's national federation, in this case USA Cycling, which transferred the case to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). [cite news | title= Landis Tests Positive; Title is a total complete loss| publisher=Chicago Tribune| date= 2006-08-05 | accessdate= 2006-08-05] [cite news | url=http://sport.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-5996982,00.html| title= US Cycling hands Landis case to USADA| publisher=Guardian| date= 2006-08-06 | accessdate= 2006-08-06]

Landis was also banned from the sport for two years, dated retroactively to January 2007. Even before the USADA's ruling on this matter, the controversy resulted in the disbandment of Landis's former team, Phonak. [cite news
last = Hood
first = Andrew
url=http://www.velonews.com/news/fea/10712.0.html
title = End of the road for Phonak
date=2006-08-15
[accessdate=2006-08-15
]

Landis agreed not to participate in any racing in France in 2007 to allow him to postpone a hearing of his case there for as long as possible. On December 19, 2007, the French Anti-Doping Agency found him guilty of doping, and issued a two-year suspension, which bars him from racing in France until early 2009. He has not, so far, appealed that decision, though it is likely that he was waiting for the result of his first Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal before doing so.

Among Landis's lawyers were José Maria Buxeda of Spain and Howard L. Jacobs of the United States. Buxeda represented Roberto Heras when he was suspended for two years after testing positive for EPO. Jacobs has extensive experience defending athletes accused of doping, such as Tyler Hamilton and sprinter Tim Montgomery. They are also representing Kazakh rider Alexandre Vinokourov who was accused of blood doping, kicked out of the 2007 Tour de France, and fired from his cycling team.

Claims of innocence

Landis has claimed that he is not guilty of using banned performance-enhancing drugs. He has declared that "We will explain to the world why this is not a doping case, but a natural occurrence" and that the testosterone in his body was "natural and produced by my own organism." Doubt was cast on Landis's claims on August 1, 2006, when the "New York Times" reported that, according to a source at the UCI, Landis's urine test had revealed synthetic testosterone in his body.

Landis and his spokespeople have put forth a variety of reasons, at various times, for his positive drug test. They include: naturally high testosterone, drinking alcohol, dehydration, thyroid medication, and a conspiracy against him. His defense ultimately criticized LNDD's methodology and execution.Fact|date=July 2007

Landis is quoted as saying, "There are multiple reasons why this could have happened, other than what they're saying ... there are possibly hundreds of reasons why this test could be this way." [cite news
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14222191/
title= Landis: 'Some strange things going on' : Embattled Tour winner continues campaign to erase doping allegations
publisher=MSNBC
date=2006-08-08
]

The variety of explanations offered up by Landis provided fodder for many skeptical columns by sports journalists [cite news
last = Ratto
first = Ray
title = Landis's excuses like 1,000 monkeys with typewriters
publisher =CBS Sportsline.com
date = 2006-08-07
url = http://sportsline.com/columns/story/9590157
] and inspiration for satirists such as late-night national TV show host David Letterman, who presented the "Top 10 Floyd Landis Excuses" on his show. [" [http://www.cbs.com/latenight/lateshow/top_ten/index/php/20060727.phtml Top Ten Floyd Landis Excuses] ", "Late Show with David Letterman", July 27, 2006.]

Floyd Landis made an appearance on the Los Angeles based syndicated radio show “The Adam Carolla show” where he was offered the chance to prove his innocence by taking a polygraph test in which he would be asked if he “knowingly” used performance-enhancing drugs during the 2006 Tour de France. Upon advice of his lawyer he refused to take the polygraph test.

Several experts have refuted Landis's assertions.cite news
last = Macur
first = Juliet
coauthors = Kolata, Gina
url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/02/sports/othersports/02landis.html
title= Experts Say Case Against Landis Is Tough to Beat
publisher=New York Times
date=2006-08-02
] Prof. Christiane Ayotte, director of Montreal's anti-doping laboratory, said that "In 25 years of experience of testing testosterone ... such a huge increase in the level of testosterone cannot be expected to come from any natural factors." David Black, a forensic toxicologist for Nashville-based Aegis Sciences, said, "There are not hundreds of plausible explanations. If the tests were so unreliable that there were hundreds of possible reasons, there would be no point in performing the tests." [cite news
last = Saraceno
first = Jo
url=http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/saraceno/2006-08-08-saraceno-landis-excuses_x.htm
title= Landis's excuses just don't add up
publisher=USA Today
date=2006-08-09
]

Landis later backtracked from some of the assertions, saying, "The whisky idea was not mine and the dehydration was a theory from the lawyers I hired in Spain to represent me". [cite news
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/5254402.stm
title= Landis blames testing procedure
publisher=BBC News
date=2006-08-08
]

On September 7, 2006, Landis was televised on San Diego's NBC affiliate announcing at a La Jolla fundraiser that information in the lab report could exonerate him. He stated that more details would be announced, perhaps as early as the next day. On September 8, 2006, Landis's attorney announced that he would formally request that the case be dropped on the grounds that LNDD's 370 page report revealed inconsistencies in the way the samples were handled. [cite news
last =Medcroft
first =Steve
title =Landis lawyers demand that doping case be dismissed
publisher =CyclingNews
date =2006-09-09
url =http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2006/sep06/sep09news
]

Team Landis has also launched an extensive PR campaign, culminating in the publication of a book, "", in June 2007. The publication was preceded by a spate of sympathetic media coverage of Landis, including the cover story in the June 2007 issue of "Bicycling" magazine, written by Loren Mooney, the co-author of "Positively False". [http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/6954626 Book It: Doping Stories Will Eclipse the Tour] ]

Exogenous testosterone

On August 1, 2006, media reports said that synthetic testosterone had been detected in the A sample, using the carbon isotope ratio test, CIR, conducted at LNDD. The presence of synthetic testosterone means that some of the testosterone in Landis’s body came from an external source and was not naturally produced by his own system. These results conflict with Landis's public assertion that it was a natural occurrence. [cite news | url=http://www.wfaa.com/sharedcontent/dws/wfaa/latestnews/stories/wfaa060731_mo_landis.ae9233.html | title = Synthetic testosterone found in Landis urine sample | publisher = Associated Press | date = 2006-07-31 | accessdate = 2007-09-25 ]

The CIR test is used to distinguish between testosterone produced naturally by the athlete's body and synthetic testosterone introduced from an outside source. The test is performed by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS). According to Gary I. Wadler, M.D., a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the carbon isotope ratio test needs to be done only once, on either an A or on a B sample, particularly if the athlete’s T/E ratio is high as in Landis's case.

It has been suggested that Landis may have been using testosterone over the long term but either masking it or diluting it to avoid detection. The positive test result would therefore have been from a mistake with the alleged doping program on one day. [cite news | first= Philip | last=Hersh | url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/access/1085973981.html?dids=1085973981:1085973981&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Jul+31%2C+2006&author=Philip+Hersh&pub=Chicago+Tribune&edition=&startpage=2&desc=French-fried+conundrum+Landis+doping+case+not+at+all+clear-cut
title= French-fried conundrum Landis doping case not at all clear-cut | publisher=The Chicago Tribune | date= 2006-07-31 | accessdate= 2006-08-01
]

Landis gave a total of eight samples during the 2006 Tour de France. As part of its prosecution, USADA had remaining "B" portions of the other samples tested by the French laboratory. Four of those samples also showed the presence of synthetic testosterone. [cite news | first=Bonnie | last=DeSimone | author= | url=http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/columns/story?id=2871865 | title=Breakdown of Landis' Tour de France drug tests | work= | publisher=ESPN | date=2006-05-16 | accessdate=2006-10-16]

Reaction among cyclists

After Landis' A sample tested positive for testosterone, retired American cyclist and three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond doubted whether additional doping tests would reverse Landis's earlier results. He stated,

On July 28, 2006 Landis appeared on "Larry King Live" to explain his situation and reiterate his innocence. [cite news|title=Larry King Live Transcript - July 28, 2006|url=http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0607/28/lkl.01.html] Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong phoned the show to express support for his former teammate. Armstrong expressed skepticism of the French laboratory that conducted Landis's drug test, noting it is the same laboratory involved in some of the doping allegations against him. [cite news | title= Armstrong backs Landis | publisher=Adelaide Now | date= 2006-07-30 | accessdate= 2006-08-01] Armstrong has continuously expressed support for Landis and stated his conviction that the process is biased against athletes.

Fellow professional and 10 time Tour de France cyclist, Australian Stuart O'Grady, left no doubt as to his view in an interview for the Australian 60 Minutes program televised on 22 July 2007. The reporter Liz Hayes asked O'Grady: "Would anyone have picked that — that the winner of last year's race was a drug cheat?" O'Grady replied,

cquote2|"I would have, because I was there with him that day when he was in that breakaway. I was actually 13 minutes ahead of him and he caught us on his own and then he basically rode us all off the wheel..... I thought that was impossible, what he did. I'm not a bad bike rider and, you know, he made me look like a little kid." [ [http://sixtyminutes.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=279595 Tour de crash] Televised Sunday, July 22, 2007Reporter: Liz Hayes; Producers: Stephen Rice, Howard Sacre]

Christophe Moreau, who rode the 2006 Tour for AG2R Prevoyance said ,

Appeals

On September 11, 2006, Landis asked a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) review board to dismiss the doping charges against him. Landis's request was made on the basis that the A and B urine samples from stage 17 of the Tour de France do not meet the established World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) criteria for a positive doping offense. Landis's lawyer said in a statement: "The single testosterone/epitestosterone analysis in this case is replete with fundamental, gross errors." The lawyer also claims that the positive finding on the B sample came from a sample number not assigned to Landis. [cite news | first=Gene | last=Charry | author= | url=http://sport.guardian.co.uk/breakingnews/feedstory/0,,-6073748,00.html | title=Landis asks USADA to drop case against him | work= | publisher=Guardian | date=2006-09-13 | accessdate=2006-09-14] [cite news | first=| last=| author= | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/5337382.stm | title=Landis states his case to USADA | work= Sport: Cycling | publisher=BBC| date=2006-09-13 | accessdate=2006-09-14]

The review board notified Landis on September 18 of its recommendation that USADA proceed with the disciplinary process. Howard Jacobs, attorney for Landis, requested an open hearing by the American Arbitration Association to contest potential sanctions against the athlete.

Defense

On October 12, 2006, Landis made public many documents in support of his claim of innocence. [The case files can be downloaded by going to [http://www.box.net box.net] , clicking "LOGIN", and using PublicAccess as both the Login and Password, or from the collection at [http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=floyd%20landis%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts%20AND%20collection%3Aopensource archive.org] without passwords. cite news | first=| last=| author= | url=http://www.floydlandis.com/blog/2006/10/12/188/ | title=Landis case information now online| work= Sport: Cycling | publisher=Floyd Landis Website | date=2006-10-02 | accessdate=2006-10-12] [cite news | first=| last=| author= | url=http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=floyd%20landis%20AND%20mediatype%3Atexts%20AND%20collection%3Aopensource | title=Archive.org Collection of Landis Case Documents| work= Sport: Cycling | publisher=Archive.org | date=2006-10-12 | accessdate=2006-10-12] These included the full testing information from Landis' A and B urine samples, and a PowerPoint presentation created by Arnie Baker, M.D. challenging key aspects of the testing — in particular, arguing that the carbon isotope ratio testing (CIR) did not meet relevant WADA criteria. In addition to being a public relations strategy, the dissemination of these files over the Web is an attempt "to draw on the collective resources of cycling fans, using the Internet to allow widely distributed review of evidence in his case and he encourages Internet users to find the mistakes that the legal team has not noticed." His strategy has been coined the "Wikipedia defense".Snow, Michael. "", Wikipedia Signpost, October 16, 2006]

In their submissions to the USADA, Landis's attorneys advanced four main arguments.

*That WADA's CIR test actually supported a negative finding, or an inconclusive one. The CIR test covers four parameters. The lawyers argue that a positive finding is justified only when all four of them have high values. In the lab's results, only one of these parameters measured high, and it was within the range of error.
*That among the parameters showing a low (negative) value in the CIR test is the one that WADA supposedly considers most decisive indicator. WADA is argued to have previously supported a determination that this parameter is the most convincing of the four above mentioned. In LNDD's tests of Landis's urine, this parameter was arguably normal.
*That there is evidence one or both samples had become contaminated: LNDD's results allegedly manifest a significant variance between the respective measurements.
*That WADA's documents show mismatches between the reference number of the sample versus the reference number that Landis attested. In one instance a test report's reference number allegedly was overwritten, but LNDD's protocol requires that any corrections must be made with a single strikethrough line and then initialed and dated.

The legitimacy of these arguments has been questioned:
*It is clear that officials within WADA do not consider that all four parameters in the CIR test must be positive to show a positive finding. The intention of the WADA document was that if any of the four metabolites was abnormal, this would constitute a positive test. Dr. Christine Ayotte (head of Canada's anti-doping laboratory) said: "We never imagined that this would be taken any other way". cite book
title=From Lance to Landis
author=David Walsh
publisher=Ballantine Books
year=2007
pages=293-318
]
*There is no compelling evidence of contamination in either the A or B sample. One parameter (the concentration of free testosterone/epitestosterone) is high enough to indicate possible contamination; but other indicators of contamination are not present (e.g. an abnormal pH).
*The chain of evidence errors (inappropriately corrected sample numbers) pose the question of whether the sample is actually Landis's. A DNA test would confirm whether this was the case or not, and it would seem that an innocent athlete would be keen to have such a test performed.
*Landis's lawyers have also argued that the positive test was probably erroneous because samples tested before and after it tested negative. This implies that they are willing to rely on the LNDD's tests for exculpatory evidence; why, in that case, should they not accept the lab's results for positive tests?

Testing lab credibility

LNDD, the laboratory that analyzed both of Landis's tests, is a French government agency and is one of 34 anti-doping testing labs in an international WADA network. LNDD's credibility has been attacked by Landis and his attorneys. These attacks have been joined by several Landis allies, including cycling officials, scientists, and medical professionals.
*In 2005, the president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations called for investigation and suspension of LNDD after it was involved, along with UCI and WADA, in the leaking of the results of tests on seven-year-old samples from Lance Armstrong and two other cyclists, dating back to the 1999 Tour de France, which were alleged to be positive for doping. [cite news
last = Lindsey
first = Joe
url=http://outside.away.com/outside/features/200512/lance-armstrong-1.html
title= J'Accuse
publisher=Outside magazine
date=December 2005
]
*The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in a final decision on December 20, 2006, cleared Spanish racer Iñigo Landaluze of doping allegations dating back to a 2005 victory. LNDD had tested two urine samples from Landaluze and made a finding of testosterone doping. But his national cycling federation, the RFEC, acquitted Landaluze because LNDD admitted to violating testing protocol because the A and B samples had both been handled by the same technician. UCI brought RFEC before the CAS to challenge the acquittal, but CAS rejected UCI's appeal, upholding Landaluze's acquittal. ["Landaluze escapes doping sanction", [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/6197827.stm "BBC Sport" online] ] [Landis buoyed by Landaluze case [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/other_sports/cycling/6186931.stm "BBC Sport" online] ]
*Douwe de Boer, a former science director at the Lisbon lab of the network, has condemned LNDD's execution of testing procedures. [cite news
last=Hiltzik
first=Michael
url=http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/1184964281.html?dids=1184964281:1184964281&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Dec+23%2C+2006&author=Michael+A.+Hiltzik&pub=Los+Angeles+Times&edition=&startpage=D.1&desc=Landis+putting+lab+to+the+test%3B+The+Tour+de+France+winner%27s+team+of+experts+uses+the+Internet+to+spark+debate+about+doping+charges.+%60I+have+nothing+to+hide%2C%27+he+says.
title=Landis putting lab to the test
publisher=Los Angeles Times
date=2006-12-23
]
*In February 2007, it was reported that LNDD records turned over to Landis' defense lawyers show that two technicians were involved in both the original urine analysis and a second validating test. International lab standards prohibit technicians from participating in both tests to prevent them from validating their own findings. ["Report: French lab techs erred in Landis case"]

The LeMond testimony

On May 17, 2007 Greg LeMond took the stand in the USADA arbitration hearing. Under oath, he described a phone conversation he had with Floyd Landis on August 6, 2006 as well as another with Will Geoghegan, Landis's business manager, on May 16th, the evening before the testimony. The major points of the testimony are as follows:

*In an August 6 phone conversation, LeMond allegedly told Landis that "If you did (admit to having used banned substances), you could single-handedly change the sport. You could be the one who will salvage the sport", to which Landis allegedly responded "What good would it do? If I did, it would destroy a lot of my friends and hurt a lot of people."
*LeMond disclosed his childhood sexual abuse by a LeMond family friend to Landis. "I was sexually abused before I got into cycling, and it nearly destroyed me by keeping it secret," LeMond allegedly said to Landis. "(Lying about doping) will come back to haunt you when you are 40 or 50. If you have a moral compass and ethics, this will destroy you."
*Will Geoghegan called LeMond at his personal mobile phone number the night before the scheduled testimony. LeMond's BlackBerry, with Geoghegan's phone number captured in the call log, was entered into evidence.

According to Lemond quoted in the Sunday Times the conversation with Geoghegan was,cquote2
“Hello.”
“Greg?”
“Yeah, this is Greg.”
“Hi Greg, this is your uncle.”
“My uncle?!?”
“This is your uncle. Do you remember me?”
“Who is this?”
“This is your uncle and I’m going to be there tomorrow and we can talk about how we used to play hide the weenie.”
“Who the f*** is this?” [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/more_sport/tour_de_france/article2010066.ece Sunday Times interview with Lemond] ]

Following the testimony, Landis's legal team announced that Geoghegan had just been fired as Landis's business manager. Geoghegan was also observed by reporters approaching LeMond during the break. LeMond later stated to reporters that Geoghegan had admitted making the call, and "tried to apologize". [http://www.bendweekly.com/news/6092.html Greg LeMond's steals focus in hearing on Floyd Landis] ] Landis has admitted to being in the same room as Geoghegan when the call was made [http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/columns/story?columnist=desimone_bonnie&id=2876323 Courtroom twists muffle Landis's doping denials] ] , and defended his decision not to fire Geoghegan until after the LeMond testimony, saying he had been waiting for legal advice. Landis has not commented on how Geoghegan came to know of LeMond's childhood sexual abuse as well as his personal mobile phone number. Geoghegan blamed "a beer or two" for his action, and entered an undisclosed rehab facility on May 21. [http://origin.mercurynews.com/sports/ci_5956994 Killion: Landis sees peril in going public] ] The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office opened an investigation of the incident as a potential witness tampering [http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/05/23/news/californian/4_04_355_22_07.txt Landis' testimony centers on fired manager] ] and then terminated the case without prosecution on July 31. [http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/20070731-9999-1s31tour.html Landis spins wheels in court test] ]

LeMond's testimony is arguably supported by an online posting Floyd Landis made on the Daily Peloton forum, in which he states that LeMond disclosed personal information of a sensitive nature to Landis, and Landis threatened to use the information to damage LeMond if he continues to involve himself in Landis's USADA appeal process:

Unfortunately, the facts that he divulged to me in the hour which he spoke and gave no opportunity for me to do the same, would damage his character severely and I would rather not do what has been done to me. However, if he ever opens his mouth again and the word Floyd comes out, I will tell you all some things that you will wish you didn't know... [http://trustbut.blogspot.com/2006/11/tuesday-roundup_28.html Trust But Verify] ]

Verdict

On September 20, 2007 Landis was found guilty of doping by a 2-1 vote of the hearing committee, with Patrice Brunet and Richard McLaren in the majority, and Christopher Campbell dissenting.

Majority Opinion

The committee found that "the charge of exogenous testosterone being found in the sample by the Carbon Isotope Ratio analysis is established in accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations" and that "an Anti-Doping Rule Violation is found to have been established". [cite web
url=http://www.usantidoping.org/files/active/arbitration_rulings/Landis%20Final%20(20-09-07)%20(3).pdf
title=Ruling of the AAA Panel in the case of Floyd Landis
publisher=The United States Anti-Doping Agency
accessdate=2007-09-24
format=PDF
]

The committee ruled that "the charge of an elevated T/E ratio from the sample was not established in accordance with the WADA International Standards for Laboratories" and dismissed that charge.

The finding means that Landis was cleared of the initial positive T/E violation, but was found to have been positive for the presence of exogenous testosterone. "As has been held in several cases, even where the T-E ratio has been held to be unreliable... the IRMS analysis may still be applied," the majority wrote. "It has also been held that the IRMS analysis may stand alone as the basis" of a positive test for doping. [http://velonews.com/article/13354 Landis stripped of Tour title; appeal uncertain] Velonews, September 20, 2007]

The committee ordered that Landis be suspended from cycling for two years, retroactive to January 30, 2007 and that he forfeit the 2006 Tour de France win.

Dissenting Opinion

One of the three committee members, Christopher Campbell, dissented with the two members in the majority. Campbell noted that "as this case demonstrates, even when an athlete proves there are serious errors in a laboratory’s document package that refute an adverse analytical finding, it will be extremely difficult for an athlete to prevail in these types of proceedings. Therefore, it is imperative that WADA Accredited Laboratories abide by the highest scientific standards."

Campbell concluded that accused athletes face an uphill battle in efforts to clear their names. "Because everyone assumes an athlete who is alleged to have tested positive is guilty, it is not fashionable to argue that laboratories should comply with strict rules," Campbell suggested. "However, if you are going to hold athletes strictly liable with virtually no possibility of overcoming a reported alleged positive test even in the face of substantial and numerous laboratory errors, fairness and human decency dictates that strict rules be applied to laboratories as well. To do otherwise does not 'safeguard the interest of athletes.'"

"WADA should be writing rules that mandate the highest scientific standards rather than writing rules for a race to the bottom of scientific reliability so convictions can be easily obtained, as this case demonstrates," Campbell concluded. "Given the plethora of laboratory errors in this case, there was certainly no reliable scientific evidence introduced to find that Mr. Landis committed a doping offence."

Christopher Campbell was also the dissenting voice in the doping trial of Tyler Hamilton [cite web|url=http://www.scenta.co.uk/Health/cit/73650/sweating-whose-blood.htm|title=Sweating whose blood?|publisher=Guardian|accessdate=2008-09-28] . Campbell was the choice of Landis' defense team to sit on the panel [cite web|url=http://articles.latimes.com/2007/feb/09/sports/sp-landis9|title=Landis, French officials OK deal|publisher=LA Times|accessdate=2008-09-28]

Final Appeal

Landis appealed the decision of the committee to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. [ [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20889737/ Landis loses verdict, must forfeit Tour title] MSNBC, September 20, 2007 ] . The hearing ran from March 19 to March 24, 2008 in New York. The decision was announced on June 30th 2008 [ [http://www.tas-cas.org/en/infogenerales.asp/4-3-1179-1092-4-1-1/5-0-1092-15-1-1/ CAS News] ] with the result that the conviction and ban were upheld.

In an exception to the general rule that parties pay their own costs, CAS ordered Landis to pay $100,000 US towards the legal costs of the US Anti-Doping Agency. The court castigated Landis's litigation tactics, noting that all of Landis's "multiple defenses have been rejected as unfounded", and decrying such actions as Landis's lawyers requiring the USADA to bring nine witnesses from France to New York to be available for questioning—and never questioning them. It was also critical of allegations of fraud and cover-up made as part of Landis' case which were not established by any evidence and about which relevant witnesses were not questioned. [http://www.tas-cas.org/d2wfiles/document/1418/5048/0/Award%20Final%20Landis%20(2008.06.30).pdf]

Major results

;1999 - Mercury Pro Cycling Team: 2nd overall and 1 stage win – Cascade Classic

;2000 - Mercury Pro Cycling Team: Overall – Tour du Poitou-Charentes

;2001 - Mercury Pro Cycling Team: Boulevard Road Race

;2002 - U.S. Postal Service: 2nd overall – Dauphiné Libéré: 3rd stage, Tirreno-Adriatico: 61st overall – Tour de France

;2003 - U.S. Postal Service: 77th overall – Tour de France

;2004 - U.S. Postal Service: Overall – Volta ao Algarve:: Stage 5 – Volta ao Algarve: Team time trial – Tour de France: Team time trial – Vuelta a España: 23rd overall – Tour de France

;2005 - Phonak Hearing Systems: 3rd overall and Stage 3 win – Tour de Georgia: 9th overall – Tour de France

;2006 - Phonak Hearing Systems: 1st, Profronde van Stiphout: Disqualified - Tour de France:: "Yellow jersey", General Classification leader during Stages 12, 13, 16 and 20.:: 1st, Stage 17 (voted most combative rider of the day): 1st, USA Cycling National Racing Calendar series: 1st overall – Tour de Georgia:: 1st, Stage 3 (ITT) – Tour de Georgia: 1st overall – Paris-Nice: 1st overall – Tour of California:: 1st, Stage 3 (ITT) – Tour of California

References

ee also

* List of doping cases in cycling
*List of sportspeople sanctioned for doping offences

External links

wikinewshas|News related to this article
*
*
*

* [http://www.floydlandis.com Floyd Landis' Website] (As of 8/25/08 this website was not active.)
* [http://www.wada-ama.org/rtecontent/document/WADA_FB_Landis_Decision_090708.pdf WADA Memo on Landis Decision July 9, 2008]
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=17382481 Sex, drugs and sports: Prostaglandins, epitestosterone and sexual development]
* [http://www.cyclingpost.com/profiles/nonprotour/article_001924.shtml Floyd Landis profile]
* [http://trustbut.blogspot.com Trust But Verify: News, Research and Commentary about the Floyd Landis doping allegations.]
* [http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/10/02/detecting_doping_in_sports/ Detecting doping in sports]
* [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=17497588&ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum Do non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs influence the steroid hormone milieu in male athletes?]
* [http://blog.environmentalchemistry.com/2007/10/floyd-landis-to-appeal-decision-to.html False-Positive T/E and CIR Results: Floyd Landis, Mennonites, & Sitosterolemia]
* [http://pubs.acs.org/subscribe/journals/ancham/79/i23/pdf/1207gov.pdf The science behind Floyd Landis's guilty verdict] from [http://pubs3.acs.org/acs/journals/toc.page?incoden=ancham&indecade=0&involume=79&inissue=23 the December 1, 2007 issue of "Analytical Chemistry"]
* [http://www.cacnews.org/news/4thq07.pdf The Floyd Landis Sports Doping Case: As Seen Through the Eyes of a Mythical ASCLDLab Inspector]

Persondata
NAME=Landis, Floyd
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Road racing cyclist
DATE OF BIRTH=October 14, 1975
PLACE OF BIRTH=Farmersville, West Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
DATE OF DEATH=
PLACE OF DEATH=


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