- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 3, 2006

1:01 p.m.

CHATENAY-MALABRY, France (AP) — Testing began today on Tour de France winner Floyd Landis’ backup doping sample, and one of his lawyers reiterated that he expects it, too, will show elevated testosterone levels.

However, Landis is “certain he hasn’t ingested any prohibited substance,” lawyer Jose Maria Buxeda said. “He knows there is a natural explanation to the [initial] finding.

“He’s pretty sure we will be able to prove, if this result is confirmed, that it is due to natural causes, to a natural reaction of his body, either [normally] or in the circumstances he was in [during] that particular stage.”

The result of the B sample test will not be available before Saturday, Mr. Buxeda said outside the French lab conducting the analysis.

However, the process of determining whether the American cyclist is guilty of doping or whether his body naturally produced the higher-than-normal testosterone levels could take six months to a year, the Spanish attorney said.

“The reason why Mr. Sanz and myself said that probably the result is going to be the same is because statistically the results of the B sample usually — not always — but usually confirm the results of the A sample,” Mr. Buxeda said, speaking in English.

Landis showed a testosterone imbalance in an initial urine sample taken during the Tour de France. Both A and B samples were provided July 20 after he sped his way back into contention after winning the tough Stage 17 of the three-week Tour.

Michael Henson, a spokesman for Landis, confirmed Tuesday that the July 20 urine test turned up an 11:1 testosterone/epitestosterone ratio — far above the 4:1 limit allowed.

He acknowledged Wednesday that a carbon isotope ratio test, which detects synthetic testosterone, had been done on the A sample. He would not divulge the result, but the New York Times has reported that Landis’ personal doctor, Brent Kay, confirmed that the sample tested positive for synthetic testosterone.

Mr. Buxeda contended today that even lab results that show the banned substance was synthetic, introduced from an outside source, would only be a “presumption” — not a certainty.

However, David Cowan, director of the Drug Control Center at King’s College in London, said the carbon isotope ratio test “is the most definitive measure we have at this time.”

“If there is a synthetic found [in the sample], then any defense is difficult to prove,” he said.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide