Reuters

Landis pleads innocence

Landis pleads innocence
By Reuters

12/09/2006 at 07:50Updated

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis asked a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) review board on Monday to dismiss doping charges against him.

"The details of the submission support Landis's long-held innocence and argue that tests conducted on the athlete's 'A' and 'B' urine sample from stage 17 of the Tour de France do not meet the established World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) criteria for a positive doping offense," said a statement released by Landis's publicist on behalf of his attorney Howard Jacobs.

"The single (positive) T/E (Testosterone/Epitestosterone) analysis in this case is replete with fundamental, gross errors," the statement added.

The statement said three of the four testosterone metabolite differentials tested in Landis's sample are reported as negative considering the margin of error.

"The one metabolite that has been identified by WADA-accredited laboratories as the best, and longest-term indicator, of exogenous testosterone usage was reported as negative in Landis's urine samples," the statement said.

STUNNING COMEBACK

Landis tested positive for the male sex hormone following his stunning comeback in stage 17 that put him on course for victory in the Tour de France.

He has repeatedly denied taking performance-enhancing drugs.

"I did not take testosterone or any other performance-enhancing substance and I'm very happy that the science is confirming my innocence," Landis said in Monday's statement.

"I look forward to restoring my good name so that I can focus on my hip replacement and begin training for next season," he added.

USADA general counsel Travis Tygart said that under the agency's rules he could not comment on the specifics of any doping case.

"Our process allows all athletes to make a submission to an independent review board, and those submissions are thoroughly considered before a case proceeds," Tygart said via telephone from his office in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The review board is expected to make a recommendation within a week, Jacobs's statement said.

USADA, based on the review board's recommendation, will then decide whether to charge Landis with a doping offence.

If USADA does charge him, Landis would have an opportunity to contest that decision and the recommended sanction before an arbitration panel.

Jacobs said errors made by a French laboratory that tested Landis's sample include inconsistent testosterone and epitestosterone levels from testing on the "A" sample as well as multiple mismatched sample code numbers that do not belong to Landis.

"In the case of the mismatched sample identification codes, the alleged confirmed T/E data on the 'B' sample is from a sample number that was not assigned to Landis," Jacobs's statement said.

The only testosterone metabolite that can be argued as positive under the WADA Positivity Criteria resulted from an unknown laboratory error and is not the result of testosterone usage, the statement added.

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