Only an Agence France Presse story this morning, which appeared in L'Equipe online. I expect the big wrap-ups will be posted for tomorrow's editions.
After nine days of hearings, here are the final arguments of the two sides. First, from the lawyers for the American Antidoping Agency (USADA), then, those from Floyd Landis' lawyers, who concluded the American rider's hearings in front of the independent American Arbitration court (AAA). We must now wait several weeks to know the verdict.
Richard Young, for the USADA, first tried again to prove Landis' culpability, to justify the two years' suspension requested by the disciplinary authorities in charge of the fight against doping. His manner was pointed: "The science is solid. Mr. Landis had traces of exogenous testosterone is his specimens from the 17th stage. He cheated, and he was caught." The American lawyer then defended once again the work of the French laboratory which conducted the famous positive tests: "The technicians of the LNDD have been called incompetent, on the one hand, and evil geniuses, on the other. What Landis is trying to make us believe is that they were both at the same time. The panel has the opportunity to judge their credibility. They did their work with pride. They are not people who have anything to hide."
Young then did not pass up recalling the Landis clan's slips during the trial, notably the incident involving Will Geoghegan, friend and representative of Landis, who threatened Greg LeMond several hours before the latter's testimony. Landis' cross-examination regarding this matter, one recalls, was not particulaly shrewd, calling LeMond's credibility into question. It remains to be seen what importance this affair within the affair--far removed from the technical case--will take on in the judges' deliberations.
Young's adversary, Maurice Suh, for his part, put together a brilliant argument to demonstrate his client's innocence, focussing especially on the technical side of the case. During his closing argument, Landis' attorney was insistent about the handling, identification, and analytic errors made by the LNDD, and he repeated the testimony of all the witnesses called by the Landis camp, who had denounced the lack of diligence of the French laboratory. Some of these witnesses had even explicitly called Landis' positive test into question, explaining that such sloppy work could not serve as the basis for "suspending an athlete two years."
Suh ended in a grandiloquent and theatrical manner, emphasizing the points that will probably be important to the arbitrators: "This case should never have been taken this far. But it was. And now it should stop." The question the judges will have to answer is whether the errors and omissions of which the LNDD is accused did or did not play a role in their analyses--in effect, a way of establishing whether Floyd Landis did or did not dope during the 2006 Grande Boucle.
To the expectation that it will be several weeks before we know the verdict, Sport24 added:
The greatest likelihood is that the loser will appeal to the Sports Arbitration Tribunal (CAS).