[http://active.typepad.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/05/15/74144244.jpg]Today was the first day of arbitration for Floyd Landis and his team of defense attorneys at PepperdineUniversity in Malibu, Calif. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused Landis of using banned synthetic testosterone during his 2006 Tour de France win. Landis’ urinalysis, conducted following his outstanding performance in Stage 17, showed an 11-1 testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio. According to the USADA, anything higher than 4-1 can be considered a positive test.
Although the credibility of the science and ethics at the French national anti-doping lab has been questioned before, the USADA has never had a charge overturned in 35 cases since it was formed in 2000.
If Landis is found guilty, he will be the first cyclist in the 104-year history of the Tour de France to be stripped of his title and serve a two-year suspension from racing. If he loses this appeal, he has the chance to appeal one last time to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and their decision will be final.
Landis insisted on turning his arbitration hearing into a public process in an effort to expose what he believes is the fraudulent way the USADA and its industry partners do business. The case, which has been in and out of proceedings for 10 months, is set to conclude by next Wednesday. Stay tuned for more updates and be sure to check out: Martin Dugard on the Landis trail -- Day One.
(Photo provided by Gettyimages / Photographer Gabriel Bouys)