- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2006

1:08 p.m.

PARIS — Hackers stole data from computers at the French anti-doping lab where tests are being challenged by American cyclist Floyd Landis, police said today.

The Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, which is accredited by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, analyzed the samples that indicated Landis had elevated levels of testosterone in his system when he won the Tour de France in July.

Police are investigating a complaint that computers at the lab were breached by hackers. The complaint was lodged by French Anti-Doping Agency President Pierre Bordry on Nov. 7.

The prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre has opened a preliminary inquiry into “intrusion into an information system” and “theft of data.”

“Floyd is troubled to learn from these reports about the continued security issues at the Chatenay-Malabry lab,” Landis spokesman Michael Henson said. “Regardless of content, the actions being investigated are damaging to all parties involved, including Floyd.

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time the security of documents in this lab has been called into question,” Henson added.

An article in L’Equipe, a sports daily, claims the publication has evidence from a police source that the hacker was part of Landis’ team.

Henson said the claims were part of a “character assassination” of the cyclist.

“Any claims attributing [the hacking] to Floyd or his defense team are baseless, untrue, irresponsible,” Henson said. “Floyd continues to work on his case with his advisers and will prove his innocence.”

The inquiry has been turned over to police specialists.

According to L’Equipe, a hacker accessed data and sent out letters to the IOC and WADA with the aim of discrediting the lab by calling into question its reliability.

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