August 5, 2006 — Following the UCI’s announcement that Floyd Landis’s B test confirmed a high testosterone:epitestosterone ratio Landis’s attorney, Howard Jacobs, released a statement claiming they will contest the result, the lack of protocol followed by the UCI in prematurely announcing the A sample findings, and the UCI source who confirmed to the New York Times the presence of exogenous testosterone from an Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry test (IRMS).
According to the release: ‘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.’
Michael Henson, Landis’ spokesperson and communications counsel, said Landis is motivated to clear his name and they are preparing their defence over the next two to three weeks, but the entire legal proceeding could take at least six months.
Henson also confirmed that the Landis A sample had indicated a testosterone-epitestosterone ratio of 11:1 which is well above the 4:1 limit but had not yet seen the results of the B sample. Pierre Bordry, who heads the French anti-doping council, told the Associated Press that the “B” test also detected synthetic testosterone.
The matter is now in the hands of the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) which will conduct its fact-finding and examinations of the case.
Phonak has since fired Landis but he has not been stripped of his Tour title. Formal action must be taken but Tour director, Christian Prudhomme, told the Associated Press that Landis was no longer considered the race’s winner, although that ruling would ultimately be made by the UCI only after the case was finalized. UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest told Associated Press that Landis officially remains the champion of the Tour pending the disciplinary process. “Until he is found guilty or admits guilt, he will keep the yellow jersey. This is normal. You are not sanctioned before you are found guilty.”
If the USADA upholds the positive result, Landis could appeal to the American Arbitration Association and the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Meanwhile Spain’s Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears), who may end up the winner and was initially reluctant to accept the yellow jersey, held a press conference today in Spain where he said he “”¦feels like the winner of the Tour de France.”