By Jeremy Whittle
November 15, 2006
THE saga surrounding Floyd Landis, the 2006 Tour de France winner, and
his positive test result for testosterone took a bizarre twist yesterday
when it emerged that the French authorities are investigating illicit
accessing of data at the Chtenay-Malabry French national laboratory in
Paris, where the Americans samples were tested.
Unspecified computer hackers are claimed to have sent communications,
ostensibly from the laboratory, to the International Olympic Committee,
the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada)
expressing doubts over the reliability of testing procedures at
According to LEquipe, the French sports newspaper, an associate of
Landis has been identified as sending at least one communication to
world sporting bodies discrediting the testing procedures at the
laboratory. An official complaint has been lodged with the French police
department that investigates computer hacking and fraud by Pierre
Bordry, the president of the French anti-doping agency.
The communications, reportedly written in mediocre French, point out
what are claimed as repeated errors in testing procedures. Christiane
Ayotte, the director of the anti-doping laboratory in Montreal, received
one of the letters electronically. It told me that the French lab
specialised in repeated errors in antidoping analyses, she said. The
style was suspect and I was very wary. I warned Wada and my French
Landis criticised the laboratorys procedures during an appearance on
French television on Sunday. I cant say that the lab is always a bad
lab, he said. But I can say that, in this case, they made some mistakes.
The American, who is recovering from hip surgery, dismissed speculation
that testosterone may have been found in his system as a result of a
blood transfusion before his decisive stage victory in Morzine. I cant
defend myself against that because I dont have any information and I
dont know where this rumour came from, he said.
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