September 20, 2007
Landis loses appeal, stripped of title
Immediately after last year's Tour, Landis was accused of cheating when a urine test suggested Landis had an elevated ratio of epitestosterone-to-testosterone, which should normally be approximately equal. Landis has fought the charge, and still has the option of appealing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The three-man panel found that the Chatenay-Malabry lab near Paris mishandled Landis's sample, but 2 of 3 panelists felt that a follow-up test with a mass spectrometer was convincing evidence that Landis had used synthetic testosterone. Chris Campbell, who was named by the Landis team and also dissented in the Tyler Hamilton case, was the dissenting voice. “The documents supplied by LNDD are so filled with errors that they do not support an Adverse Analytical Finding. Mr. Landis should be found innocent.”
“It's not a great surprise considering how events have evolved. He got a highly qualified legal team who tried to baffle everybody with science and public relations. And in the end the facts stood up.”
Right -- we wouldn't want to get science mixed up in all this.
TrustButVerify notes that the suspension is to run through January 29, 2009, which, to me, seems a bit punitive, given that Landis has not competed since the end of July, 2006.
CyclingNews quotes Pat McQuaid that Pereiro will inherit the 2006 Tour title, but I don't think, given the state of relations between the ASO and the UCI, I would take that to the bank. We've already got a Tour without a winner, the 1996 edition, since Bjarne Riis admitted to doping during that Tour. I'm sure the ASO will weigh in shortly.
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No surprise here I guess. Even with the flaws in the process, the control and the communication of the results, it was all an exercise to make those of us that want to believe in the sport believe in the riders. Without belief in the riders and the winners, the foundation of belief in the sport is damaged--and those of us that want to believe can't reconcile the difference. So, here we are. The dopers are like ants at a picnic and we have to find a way to get the sport back to its true purity. Is it the money? The glory? What's causing otherwise decent human beings to act like such fools? Or are we the fools? Landis, Riis, Hamilton, Ulrich, Vino, Rasmussen, they all make me call into question every rider on the line in the last decade. My "blink" intuition even makes me have a very sad, suspicious feeling about our friend from Austin.
Posted by: WheelHound at Sep 20, 2007 8:42:29 PM
"The dopers are like ants at a picnic and we have to find a way to get the sport back to its true purity."
Back? Back to what? Drugs have been there since the get-go. Remember Arthur Linton? Remember Chopper Warburton? There is no back to go to in this.
As for the notion of purity - what's that when it's at home? Even if tomorrow every rider in the peloton played by the rules, it would still be a pharmacy on wheels, with the number of exceptions allowed by TUEs.
What is saddest about this whole case, about this year's Tour, is that the real thing needed - a proper debate about doping, what is doping and what is not doping - has been burried and will never take place.
Posted by: fmk at Sep 21, 2007 6:13:12 AM
"Back? Back to what? Drugs have been there since the get-go."
That's simply untrue. Yes, it's been pervasive and consistently in the sport for a very long time, but the purity of the original concept, and perhaps even the earliest days of idealism in the contest, did not involve doping. If it did, it would have been a non-issue decades ago.
We'll never get to where we need or want to be but I think extracting some of the commercial value from the sport and focusing on the beauty of the sport first and foremost may turn the equation of risk vs reward a little more in favor of the fan or people like me that don't dope and want to believe I can achieve naturally what many have chosen to do by cheating.
Posted by: WheelHound at Sep 21, 2007 12:20:21 PM
One thing that continues to bother me about this story is that Floyd tested fine on days before and after the one day in question. Basic common sense tells me that something is fishy with the testing from that day. It doesn't matter now though. His career has been ruined. What a shame. I think the only thing he did wrong was be born in the U.S. and win a race in a country that doesn't like its winners to be from the U.S.
Posted by: mickey at Sep 21, 2007 10:22:50 PM
This case is real simple - Landis was doping and got caught - now he has to pay the price. The fact that (like most riders that are caught) he lied to save his own tail and damaged the sport immeasureably is unforgiveable. I cannot understand why some people of the same nationality support him so blindly.
Posted by: Simon at Sep 26, 2007 2:13:15 AM
"One thing that continues to bother me about this story is that Floyd tested fine on days before and after the one day in question. Basic common sense tells me that something is fishy with the testing from that day."
that's because he was dosed. has to be. there's basically no other logical explanation for that being the first day it showed up. there's also zero, and I mean ZERO benefit to a one-time dose. it's not quick acting in any way.
knowing Floyd and knowing the circumstances, I would bet my life savings that he was doped by someone else who stood to gain from his removal from the tour or who was jealous of his success.
...and like Pereiro is/was supposed to be clean? look at his team, his friends, his trainers... tell me THAT makes sense.
what I can't understand is why Landis's defense didn't center on lack of motive and that the results seemed to indicate that he was unwittingly dosed.
Posted by: wilbur M at Feb 13, 2008 12:54:06 PM