Wed, Aug 02, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Result of Landis' backup dope test to be released on Saturday

AP , PARIS

Floyd Landis of the US checks the clock as he crosses the finish of the seventh stage of the 93rd Tour de France cycling race in Rennes, France, on July 8. The French antidoping lab testing Landis' samples determined that some of the testosterone in his system came from an external source and was not naturally produced by his body as he claimed, the New York Times reported on Monday.

PHOTO: AP

The result of Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' backup doping test will be announced on Saturday.

The analysis of Landis' "B" sample is expected to take place from tomorrow through Saturday at the Chatenay-Malabry anti-doping lab outside Paris, International Cycling Union (UCI) spokesman Enrico Carpani said yesterday.

Landis tested positive for an elevated ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone following the 17th stage of the Tour de France, where he staged a remarkable comeback in the Alps to make up for a poor performance the day before. If the "B" sample is negative, Landis would be cleared. If it is positive, which Landis' lawyers say they expect, he could be stripped of his Tour victory and banned for two years.

The American cyclist has said that his body's natural metabolism -- not doping -- caused the result, and that he would undergo further tests to prove it.

The New York Times reported on Monday that tests on Landis' "A" sample show some of the testosterone in his system was synthetic, putting his defense into question. The report cited a person at the UCI with knowledge of the result.

UCI president Pat McQuaid said yesterday he had not seen the lab findings and could not confirm the report, but the cycling body had asked the French lab to speed up its analysis.

McQuaid said the uncertainty was not good for the sport.

"The longer it goes until the `B' sample is tested, the more speculation, and the more denial and the more of everything that goes on," he said.

Analysis of the B sample is a "two-and-a-half-day operation," he said, and the lab closes this weekend for the August vacation period.

Landis' lawyers in Spain filed an official request for the "B" test late on Monday. But Carpani said the UCI had already filed its own request earlier Monday because of concerns about the case dragging on.

Landis told reporters at a news conference on Friday in Madrid: "We will explain to the world why this is not a doping case but a natural occurrence."

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