Received from the FFF today:
Considering the history of grave testing errors committed by the LNDD, Landis has asked that USADA move the testing venue to the world-class facility at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a request rejected by USADA. Given USADA’s position that the retesting take place at the LNDD, Landis will ask for a split of all of the samples that are scheduled for testing at the LNDD for independent analysis in a neutral and uncompromised facility.
The original request for retesting came from USADA general counsel Travis Tygart and proposed further testing of the “B” portion of cleared “A” samples at the LNDD in Chatenay-Malabry rather than at the WADA accredited lab contracted by USADA at UCLA. Additionally, USADA has taken the unusual step of transferring Landis’ out-of-competition samples from UCLA to the LNDD laboratory.
USADA’s highly irregular actions constitute an effort to further burden Landis’ defense team with additional costs and distraction, as well as produce lab results which could only prove confusing and contradictory at best.
Landis: “Test the Samples at UCLA”
“Putting aside the fact that the retesting shows just how far USADA will go in breaking its own rules to support it’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality, I’m amazed that they insist on having the LNDD test these samples. Judging by their actions, USADA is on a fishing expedition, trying to elicit a result that confuses the clear scientific evidence that refutes the allegations against me by having these samples tested at a compromised and conflicted lab.”
“The UCLA lab is widely regarded as the best in the world and I have full confidence that if these samples were tested there that they would come back negative, as would have my Stage 17 test from the Tour de France. This is why I’ve requested that they test the samples at UCLA, a request that USADA has repeatedly denied.”
USADA Disregards the Rights of Athletes
By authorizing testing on “B” samples, USADA is undermining the “A” and “B” sample system that, according to the WADA Code, was designed to safeguard the rights of athletes against repeated errors in testing outcome and analysis. In pursuing a course of retesting, USADA is demonstrating its willingness to deny athletes’ basic due process rights by violating both WADA regulations and International Standards. By violating the established procedures and rules of evidence, USADA is making an attempt to obfuscate, rather than find, truth. This attempt will cause the Landis team to expend unnecessary resources to monitor a clearly prohibited activity – resources that have already been unduly and unfairly stretched by USADA’s unethical approach to their pursuit of unsubstantiated allegations against Landis.
Given USADA's consistent defiance in providing relevant discovery documentation despite the Arbitration Panel's order to do so, Landis' defense team has no expectation it would receive appropriate documentation from any proposed retesting with reasonable time to review the analysis in advance of the hearing scheduled for May 14.
LNDD Knows Samples Belong to Landis
Athlete confidentiality is essential to the integrity of the testing process. In asking the LNDD to retest “B” samples, USADA does so with full knowledge that the LNDD knows the samples belong to Landis. The sample retesting at the LNDD will be conducted:
- with total disregard to the core principle of sample blinding;
- will take place at a laboratory with a documented history of ignorance to the scientific rules and protocols designed to protect athletes;
- with full awareness of USADA’s desire to obtain a positive result from additional specimens;
- and with knowledge that a second positive result would validate their own flawed results from Landis’ stage 17 sample.
Landis: “Preserve My Rights. Split The Samples”
“I continue to be very concerned about how my Tour de France samples have been handled by the LNDD over the past six months. They got it wrong once, now they have seven opportunities to get it wrong again. If USADA refuses to test the samples at their own laboratory at UCLA, then in order to protect my rights and to preserve evidence that may be valuable to my defense – evidence that USADA is willing to destroy in order to attain a result that they desire – I will request half of the samples so that we can have them tested in a lab that is beyond reproach. The results will show that I won the Tour de France fair and square.”
End of statement from the FFF