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Floyd Landis "B" Sample Test Confirmed - Comments
 
By Staff
Date: 8/5/2006
Floyd Landis "B" Sample Test Confirmed - Comments
 

Floyd Landis "B" sample test confirmed.
UCI Press Release, Phonak Team Comments and Response from Floyd Landis. “I will fight these charges with the same determination and intensity that I bring to my training and racing. It is now my goal to clear my name and restore what I worked so hard to achieve.”

UCI Press release 
The adverse analytical finding from Floyd Landis is confirmed
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.

Phonak Team Statement:
Phonak Cycling Team to clarify consequences
The Phonak Cycling Team has learned today from the International Cycling Union (UCI) that team captain Floyd Landis’s B sample has also resulted in a positive finding of doping. As a result, Landis will be dismissed without notice for violating the team’s internal Code of Ethics. Landis will continue to have legal options to contest the findings. However, this will be his personal affair and the Phonak team will no longer be involved in that.

Team owner Andy Rihs deeply regrets this development. At present, he is clarifying with all parties involved what consequences this may have for his company ARcycling AG, the operator of the Phonak Cycling Team. Andy Rihs and Team Manager John Lelangue will make in-depth statements regarding this matter at a media conference to be held in the next couple of days.

Floyd responded to the release with the following comments on his website:

Floyd Landis responds to the UCI announcement of a positive "B" sample.
Landis To Appeal Laboratory Findings and Actions of UCI in ‘A’ Sample Leak
The UCI (International Cycling Union) today announced that the results of the ‘B’ analysis conducted on Floyd Landis’s urine sample of July 20, 2006 are consistent with the findings of the ‘A’ sample. Both samples were taken following Landis’s victory in stage 17 of the Tour de France. The results of the ‘A’ sample were released on July 26. Landis will pursue the appeal procedures established by the UCI in order to overturn the laboratory results. It is expected that the matter will now be referred to USA Cycling.

Landis, who has not used performance-enhancing substances, maintains his innocence in this case and believes that he will be vindicated of the doping charges.

“I have never taken any banned substance, including testosterone. I was the strongest man in the Tour de France, and that is why I am the champion,” said Landis. “I will fight these charges with the same determination and intensity that I bring to my training and racing. It is now my goal to clear my name and restore what I worked so hard to achieve.”

Landis’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, has begun preparing the case for arbitration. If the case follows the normal protocol, it is expected to be resolved within four to six months.

“At this point in time, I am waiting to receive the full laboratory documentation for the “B” test. In consultation with some of the leading medical and scientific experts, we will prove that Floyd Landis’s victory in the 2006 Tour de France was not aided in any respect by the use of any banned substances,” said Jacobs.

Landis and Jacobs will also argue against the UCI’s premature release of the ‘A’ sample findings as well as the anonymous leak of the carbon-isotope test results to the New York Times on July 31.

“I call on the UCI to start following its own rules and to allow this process to proceed without the further taint of public comment by UCI officials,” added Jacobs. “ The anti-doping process must be free from the perception that sports federations and anti-doping authorities, who hold great political and financial sway over sport, are attempting to influence the outcome of a pending case by issuing inappropriate public comments.”

Keep the Faith
(August 4, 2006)
In the past week, I have gone from the “Top of the World” to the depths of scandal. I have been thrust into the international spotlight and am being asked to defend myself against something that I did not do, for reasons that I do not understand. Although this has been a hard time for my family and me, we are confident that I will be vindicated. I am innocent of any wrongdoing and want to take an opportunity to clear up some misconceptions that exist regarding the situation.

It is widely known that the test in question, given as a urine sample after my victorious ride on stage 17 of the Tour de France, returned an abnormal T/E ratio from the “A” sample. I want to be entirely clear about one point of the test that has not been fairly reported in the press or expressed in any statements made by international or national governing bodies; the T value returned has been determined to be in the normal range. The E value returned was LOW, thus causing the skewed ratio. This evidence supports my assertion that I did not use testosterone to improve my performance. I emphatically deny any claims that I used testosterone to improve my performance.

Much has been speculated about the presence of exogenous testosterone in the “A” sample. Together with some of the leading medical and scientific experts in the world, we are reviewing the documentation about the “carbon isotope ratio test.” All I can say at this time is that I did not take testosterone, so there must be another reason for the result, as leaked by the UCI.

Beyond the specifics of the testing, however, I am particularly troubled by the actions of the UCI. Information about an “adverse analytical finding” was prematurely released by the UCI in order “to avoid a known leak” within the lab. A direct statement followed from UCI President Pat McQuaid that left little to infer as to whose test was in question.

I was notified of the “A” sample results while attending post-Tour criteriums in Europe. As a result of these breeches in protocol, confidentiality and disregard for due process, I view this as a clear violation of my rights as a professional racer licensed by the UCI.

I became the center of media attention with little time to understand the nature of the “A” sample results, possible causes or explanations. As I tried to come to terms with the situation, my statement and attempts to understand the results were interpreted as “excuses” before I had time to fully grasp the facts of the case. The inappropriate actions of the UCI has caused undue, and potentially irreparable, harm to my reputation and character. I feel I am being prosecuted without regard to my basic rights.

It is now my goal to fight to clear my name and restore what I worked so hard to achieve. I am a fighter. I did not give up during the Tour and I won’t give up now, no matter what the results of the “B” sample are.

Attorney Statement:
Los Angeles (August 2, 2006) – Floyd Landis, the 2006 Tour de France champion, has retained Howard Jacobs of Los Angeles, Calif., to represent him in connection with any charges that may or may not be brought by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (“USADA”) in connection with his positive “A” sample at the 2006 Tour de France.

In defense of his client, Mr. Jacobs issued this statement:
“While there has been much speculation and reporting as to the cause of the “A” positive, the fact remains that the “B” sample has not been tested; and as such, it should be strongly noted that there is not even a formal doping charge that has been filed against Mr. Landis.

“As an athletes’ attorney, I am troubled by the actions of the UCI, and how they have spoken out about this case, which is in direct contravention of the UCI’s own rules and the World Anti-Doping Code.

“This fact remains. When the UCI announced on July 26, 2006 that there was an ‘adverse analytical finding’ following an anti-doping test at the 2006 Tour de France, it violated its own UCI Anti-Doping Rules 293-295, which prohibit any public statement by the UCI until completion of an athlete’s “B” testing at the absolute earliest, and which precludes any public statements in most cases until after completion of the adjudication process.”

“This statement was made more egregious by the fact that the laboratory at issue in Chatenay-Malabry, France, has been the subject of frequent leaks of confidential information to the French publication L’Equipe. Such breaches of confidentiality by this French laboratory were noted and criticized in an independent investigation that was requested and funded by the UCI. Under the circumstances, the UCI must have known that its July 26 announcement would result in a rapid identification by some media of the rider involved, due to the confidentiality breaches that have been previously noted by many at the French laboratory. If the UCI wishes to claim the high moral ground in its publicly declared “crusade” against doping, it should start by following its own anti-doping regulations.

“Furthermore, recent reports in the New York Times cited specifics of the test results, which were attributed to a person in the UCI’s anti-doping department. This raises even more concerns, particularly following the provisional suspension earlier this year of a high-ranking UCI official for leaking documents and/or information to L’Equipe.

“On behalf of athletes who are concerned about a fair process, the UCI should commission an independent investigation into the numerous leaks that have been sourced to the UCI in connection with Floyd Landis’ “A” sample. Sports federations and their employees should be held to the same high standards that they expect from their athletes. Unfortunately to date, that has not been the case here.”

Howard Jacobs
Law Offices of Howard L. Jacobs
 

 
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