Some of Landis’s Testosterone Was Synthetic
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Lab tests show that some of the testosterone in Floyd Landis’s urine sample taken at the Tour de France was synthetic and not naturally produced by his body as he had claimed, according to a newspaper report.
The French antidoping lab testing the American cyclist’s samples detected that some of the hormone came from an external source, the New York Times reported on its Web site last night, citing a person at the International Cycling Union with knowledge of the result.
The result undermines the defense that Landis has stood behind since the news last week that he tested positive for an elevated ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone following his stirring comeback in Stage 17 of the Tour de France.
Landis won that Alpine stage and went on to claim the Tour title.
Earlier yesterday, Landis officially requested the testing of his backup urine sample.
“We’ve sent the fax to the UCI this afternoon,”one of Landis’s two Spanish lawyers, of the Swiss-based International Cycling Union, Jose Maria Buxeda, said. “Now we’ll have to adjust to their calendar.”
If the “B” test is negative, Landis would be cleared. If it’s positive, the 30-year-old would face formal doping charges and could be stripped of his Tour victory and banned for two years.
Buxeda said he’s not sure when the “B” test will be carried out at the Paris doping laboratory, though it could be sometime this week. Landis, who has returned to America, is willing to attend the analysis depending on the date, Buxeda said.
Landis’s lawyers say they fully expect the backup test to confirm the original finding.
Landis, speaking in Madrid on Friday, said his test results had nothing to do with doping and that the high level of testosterone in his body was the result of his natural physiology.
Testosterone is a naturally occurring male hormone that is banned when it is found in a ratio greater than 4:1 to another hormone, epitestosterone.
Oscar Pereiro of Spain, who finished second overall in the Tour de France, would be declared the winner if Landis loses the Tour de France title.
It would be the first time in the history of the Tour of France that the winner has been disqualified for doping.