The Court for Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has rejected the appeal of Floyd Landis effectively ending the 2006 Tour de France Champion's legal options regarding his two-year suspension for returning a positive test for testosterone at the 20006 Tour de France. There was a glimmer of hope for the Landis camp after the results of the Unites States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) hearing late last year when the panel of arbitrators found that the French testing lab, LNDD, had run the initial T/E screening test improperly.
While the USADA panel found that the subsequent exogenous testosterone test had been run properly, Landis and his defense team argued that since the screening test determines if the exogenous test should be run, it was a case of "fruit of the poisoned tree" and the results of that exogenous test should be ruled invalid.
Unfortunately, the CAS arbitration panel not only didn't accept that defense, the very strong wording of their decision indicates that they were very upset at the way Landis and his defense team mounted their case. In an unprecedented move not only did they find against Floyd, but they also stipulated that Landis pay $100,000 of the USADA's legal costs.
Floyd and his defense team issued a press release indicating that Landis is weighing his options, but it appears that he has none. His two-year suspension ends in January of 2009, but Floyd has stated that if he is found guilty by CAS he would quit cycling. Landis has ridden a few 100-mile MTB endurance races this year, but he was clearly distracted by the CAS hearing and not at his top form. A few weeks ago, Landis was announcing a bike race in Dan Point, California.
How history will view Floyd Landis is yet to be seen. I have to tell you that I was present with Floyd at a number of the events described in his book "Positively False" and everything he describes in the book is as I remember it. No embellishments, not white lies, just the truth, straight up. Even if you believe that he took testosterone, there is no scientific link between that drug and his unbelievable comeback to win the 2006 Tour. Will this be the unfortunate case of getting the death penalty for jaywalking?
What are your thoughts?