Friday, June 15, 2007

The Truth

ASO President Patrice Clerc was reported as stating:

What is clear it is that Floyd Landis did not win [the 2006 Tour], at least for the Tour organization. ... But the UCI has yet to remove his title, and I suppose that Landis is going to go to all the courts he can to defend himself.

What an ignorant comment. Until the USADA (and if necessary the CAS) issues its ruling, Landis is not guilty of anything. This comment illustrates one of the main problems with the way these cases are carried out, namely, that the cycling powers that be shoot their mouths off until the appropriate court has ruled.

Given what is at stake for Landis, of course he will appeal if he loses. That is precisely why there are appeal rights. My fear though is that even if Landis wins his appeal it will not vindicate him.

As most of Landis' arguments were based upon improper testing procedures and protocol, his case will most likely be decided on the basis of a technicality, not on whether he is really innocent.

Look at the case of Euskaltel cyclist Iñigo Landaluze. He was found to have high testosterone levels during the 2005 Dauphine Libéré.

The arbitrators found that the technician in France involved in analyzing the B sample was also involved in analysis of the A sample, in violation of the international standards for accredited laboratories, therefore the result could not be considered a "positive" and the rider could not be sanctioned. This is the same French laboratory involved in Landis' case.
In their opinion the arbitrators specified:

even though Iñigo Landaluze benefited from this flawed procedure to be acquitted, the CAS decision does not constitute a declaration of his innocence.

Here's the rub. If the CAS (I have no hope of Landis winning at the USADA) follows its own precedent, Landis should win. Unfortunately, that won't mean he didn't do it. Only Floyd knows the answer to that.

Cites: Landaluze info from Velonews.

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