Sat, Apr 14, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Panel rules Landis' urine samples can be tested again

AFP , LOS ANGELES

Embattled Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' bid to clear his name of doping allegations was dealt a setback when an arbitration panel ruled that officials could re-test seven urine samples.

In a release issued through New York spokesperson Michael Henson, Landis confirmed that the the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which is prosecuting the case against him, will conduct tests on urine samples that had already been declared clean.

Furthermore, Landis is angered that the new tests are to be carried out at the French laboratory that processed his original -- and disputed -- positive test.

Landis has charged the Labaratoire National Depistage de Dopage's (LNDD) at Chatenay-Malabry with mishandling his original samples.

"Putting aside the fact that the retesting shows just how far USADA will go in breaking its own rules to support its `win at all costs' mentality, I'm amazed that they insist on having the LNDD test these samples," said Landis, who would prefer the samples to be tested at an accredited laboratory at the University of California Los Angeles.

At the least, Landis said, he will request that all the samples scheduled for testing be split and also tested at a "neutral and uncompromised facility."

USADA is also seeking financial records, medical reports and other documents from Landis in the case against him. They are specifically looking for names of donors of more than US$250.

The ruling was made three weeks ago but only released on Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.

USADA said the new tests were needed because the procedure would be more rigorous than before.

Landis called the requests "un-American."

"USADA clearly thinks that they're above the law," Landis said. "And that's precisely why we've been asking our elected representatives to look into USADA's unfair and un-American tactics."

Landis said he was considering appealing the ruling. A hearing before the arbitration panel is scheduled for May 14 in Los Angeles.

Landis, 31, could be stripped of his Tour de France victory and given a two-year ban.

The US rider's positive test from stage 17 in last year's race prompted the collapse of his Phonak team.

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