There was tremendous sturm und drang in the run up to today's AFLD announcement, and M. Bordry played it for all the attention it could produce. All the press reports anticipated a full hearing, and there was speculation about an immanent ban.
What we got was acquiescence to a postponement, based on a letter that had been written on January 30th, and no doubt the result of some intensive back-stage negotiations between AFLD and the Landis lawyers. Mrs. TBV wonders if getting the date for the USADA hearing was a significant part of the negotiation, and given the "late June" rescheduling, that makes sense.
At the same time, comments to the Round Up, and a story in CyclingNews point out other real news in the L'Equipe story about the case. Apparently, USADA wanted to do IRMS CIR of the other B samples at the tour, and Landis said, "no." Recall that USADA has not given Landis the A sample results of the other stages yet, and had they been positive, that would have been required. If USADA had wanted data, they could have tested remainders of the A samples without involving Landis. (update: it's not clear if any of the A samples remain). If they believe the S17 test results, what data from the other stages would be of interest?
What was USADA up to? The only possible conclusion is that they were attempting to bleed Landis by making him send experts to another round of B sample testing that could have no value to the case. They cannot use those other B samples in the case, as the A samples were declared negative.
Update: Hiltzik's LA Time article adds:
Landis had rejected a request by USADA to retest eight of his urine samples, including six from the 2006 Tour, that had previously been ruled negative for doping.
This says USADA was trying to open totally unrelated cans of worms in two samples that were not from the tour at all. All without giving Landis access to the A sample reports associated with any of them -- reports that are on file with USADA, and deliverable at the cost of a photocopy and an envelope.
It's a good thing Landis was able to refuse to be drawn into this tar pit.
For the US residents in the audience, this is an example of your tax dollars at work, and demonstrates USADA's dedication to truth and equity in pursuit of its mission.
An interesting discussion of this matter is going on at DPF, with the best post I've seen being from SwimYouIdiot at #48.