Report: Synthetic Testosterone Found In Follow-Up Tests On Landis Samples

Monday, April 23rd 2007, 1:49 pm
By: News On 6

PARIS (AP) _ Follow-up tests on backup urine samples by Tour de France champion Floyd Landis found traces of synthetic testosterone, the French sports newspaper L'Equipe reported Monday.

The tests on seven ``B'' samples clearly showed traces of the banned substance, the paper said on its Web site. Landis had insisted the follow-up tests weren't necessary because the primary ``A'' samples tested negative for banned substances during the Tour.

The cyclist and his lawyers would not confirm the newspaper report Monday, saying they had not been given access to the complete test results.

Still, Landis lashed out at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which called for the tests, accusing the agency or the French lab of leaking the most recent results and saying there had been a ``deliberate falsification of results'' in his case.

``Failures like this in any other industry would be construed as criminal negligence,'' Landis said during a teleconference Monday.

The tests were done at France's national anti-doping laboratory of Chatenay-Malabry outside Paris. The lab used a technique that can distinguish synthetic from natural forms of testosterone, a male sex hormone. The lab is the same one that revealed Landis' positive test for elevated testosterone to epitestosterone levels after he won the 17th stage of last year's Tour.

Pierre Bordry, president of the French anti-doping agency, told The Associated Press the tests were concluded this weekend but he didn't know the result because they were sent directly to the USADA.

USADA general counsel Travis Tygart said agency rules prevent him from commenting on an active case.

The 31-year-old cyclist has an arbitration hearing May 14 in California, where he is expected to question the practices of the French lab. Landis wanted the follow-up tests on the backup samples conducted at the UCLA lab that handles much of USADA's testing, but the machine it uses is under repair.

The Landis camp also protested the lab not allowing its own expert, Paul Scott, from entering the lab Sunday to witness the testing.

Bordry confirmed Scott had been kept out, but said that stemmed from a prior agreement stipulating that Landis' expert would attend the test with two USADA experts.

Bordry said Scott was excluded Sunday because USADA experts didn't show up, and that account was confirmed by Landis' attorney, Maurice Suh.

When experts from both camps were allowed in earlier in the week, Suh said, there was not equal access.

``They had free rein while our experts did not,'' Suh said. ``Observation was one-sided and the one-sidedness was directed by USADA's ... lawyer.''

If doping accusations against Landis are upheld, he faces a two-year ban from competition. He also would be the first rider in the 104-year history of the Tour to be stripped of the title. He already has agreed not to compete in this year's event while the case is pending.