Floyd Landis’ “B” sample proved to be just as bad as his “A” sample, as Saturday the International Cycling Union said the latest test confirmed that the now-former Tour champion had an elevated testosterone level.
Not only is Landis not considered to be the winner of the Tour de France, but his team Phonak immediately fired him and he faces a two-year ban from cycling. And you think you’re having a bad day.
Landis has vowed to fight this ruling and will do whatever he can to clear his name. The Landis defenders will continue with their conspiracy theories, many of which revolve around the belief the French lab that conducted the tests, Chatenay-Malabry, and other Frenchmen in the cycling hierarchy are out to destroy Landis. There are some variations on this theme, none of which include the one about Landis actually doing something wrong.
The Chatenay-Malabry lab – sounds like a good wine, doesn’t it? – has been embroiled in controversy before. In 2005 when French cycling newspaper L’ Equipe reported a lab had tested a 5-year old sample of Lance Armstrong’s urine and found traces of the banned substance EPO, guess what lab did the testing? If you guessed Chatenay-Malabry, give yourself a cookie.
EPO is a substance that improves the oxygen levels of the blood by raising the production of red blood cells. EPO has long been a favored substance among endurance athletes. EPO is used legitimately for cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy. Being that EPO has this legitimate and life-saving role; this substance is constantly being studied and is very available. But now, back to the Landis saga.
The fact that the same lab that has been accused of being a part of the plot to discredit Lance Armstrong is involved in this case has just added fuel to the fire of the Landis defenders.