Monday, May 14, 2007

From the Banks of the Seine: the view from Paris

Since the hearings began at 6:30 p.m. Paris time, there's not much tonight in the online French sources. I expect longer stories to be filed overnight. There's nothing here readers of TbV don't already know (except for the flashy error in the Le Monde story), but if you're interested how it's being presented in France (and Italy, if anything appears there--though they're all wrapped up with the Giro), here it is:

L'Equipe publishes the Reuters photo of Floyd Landis (looking very tough) with the caption: "Floyd Landis won't let it go: despite a positive for testosterone, he didn't dope."

They follow with two versions of the same opening statements story. First,

Faithful to his strategy

On the first of ten days' hearings by the American Arbitration Agency, Floyd Landis, who tested positive during the last Tour, denied Monday any doping and criticized the laboratory at Ch√Ętenay-Malabry which carried out the analyses. The American would incur two years suspension and the loss if his title as winner of the Tour de France. Last week he turned down a reduced penalty in exchange for his confession.

I think that last sentence is mistakenly taking last week's announcement of the offer regarding Lance Armstrong as something that happened last week. Then:

Floyd Landis, at the opening Monday of ten days of hearings by the American Arbitration Agency on his positive test during the 2006 Tour de France, once again denied ever having used doping products. During the hearing at Pepperdine University, the racer again faulted the analytical procedures which resulted in the positive test. The three expert arbitrators must determine by May 23 whether Landis did or did not take testosterone. If they answer in the affirmative, the American will incur two years suspension and the loss if his title as winner of the Tour de France.


Le Monde, in a story by-lined Sylvain Coullon, recycles some of the same story, then dramatically--if erroneously--ups the ante (though M. Coullon probably did not mean what he wrote in that last sentence below):

On the first day of hearings by the American Arbitration Agency on his positive test during the 2006 Tour de France, American Floyd Landis once agan denied ever having used doping products.

A useless first hearing. Floyd Landis, who will be heard for ten days by the American Arbitration Agency concerning his doping test during the last Grande Boucle, stuck to his positions Monday. Denying any testosterone use, the American continues to incriminate the procedures of the laboratory at Ch√Ętenay-Malabry. The three arbitrators will decide May 23 Landis culpability or not. Landis could incur up to two years in prison [
sic] and the loss of his Tour de France victory.

More as it comes in.

2 comments:

("Eightzero") said...

"...could incur up to two years in prison..." may not be a (sic). The French may may well indeed intend to prosecute.

daniel m (a/k/a Rant) said...

Le Monde apparently is under the mistaken impression that the panel will issue their opinion as soon as the hearings end.

Were they to do that, my hunch would be that it would be bad news for Landis, and probably a good indication of collusion on the part of a couple of Canadians.

But that's rather unlikely. Even Brunet has to have more sense than to do that. Doesn't he? ;-)