Only one new story today (I'm expecting more action tomorrow), in Le Monde. Le Monde is an afternoon paper which comes out with the next day's date on it. So this story, which appeared on the website and in the newstands this afternoon, was dated May 25, 2007. (That probably accounts for the error in the first sentence. [Note: Reader cam suggests that in fact the hearings did end on May 24--Paris time. I'll agree that that's the proper explanation.])
At the end of his hearings, Floyd Landis cotinues to deny doping
by Stéphane Mandard
The Landis page is temporarily on hold. Thursday May 24 [sic], the hearings for the 2006 Tour de France winner--in front of the American Arbitration Court (AAA) in Malibu, California--came to an end with closing arguments from attorneys for the rider and for the American Anti-doping Agency (Usada). The Usada had begun disciplinary proceedings against Floyd Landis--who faces a suspension of two years and the loss of his title--following his positive test for testosterone after the 17th stage of the Tour. The court's decision is not expected to be known for at least a month.
The hearings, which lasted nine days, did not bring any new elements to light. True to the line he has been following, Floyd Landis continued to deny having doped.
An incontestable result
He only just admitted that the initial explanations he provided to explain his abnormally elevated level of testosterone--drinking beer, taking cortisone, or even having a naturally high testosterone level--had been wrongly suggested to him by his first lawyers. The experts called by the two sides argued for diametrically opposed conclusions regarding the integrity of the results from the Naitonal Anti-doping Laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry (LNDD), where the analyses were done of the racer's urine specimens. Landis' defenders maintained that the measuring instruments were improperly operated and that one could not clearly conclude that a test was positive. To the contrary, "The data are excellent and clearly show testosterone," concluded Wilhelm Schanzer, director of the Anti-doping Laboratory of Cologne (Germany) who had been called as a witness by the Usada.
An independent report commissioned by the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) also concluded that the results of Floyd Landis' positive test for testosterone were incontestable. Moreover, the rider has agreed with the AFLD not to race in the 2007 Tour.