Monday, April 23, 2007

Landis' press conference

After the breaking news surfaced earlier, meanwhile, Floyd Landis had held a press conference at 10am PST. TBV listened in:

Landis hasn't gotten any official results, and hopes to get them in a few days. As noted in the earlier press release, they complained that USADA ran the analytical process, with their expert and attorney "over the line", while Landis' experts Scott and Davis were kept on the other side. They said that they were denied visibility into the critical parts of the analysis.

[Click to continue reading]They also explained the lockout: USADA's experts went home, and left instructions that if there was no USADA expert, there could be no Landis experts. Landis claims the refusal of entry had nothing to do with behavior by their experts.

The samples were tested serially, in batches of two, and that Landis' experts had heard of "top line" positive results during the week. They feel these conclusions are premature without seeing the supporting data they were not allowed to see, which many of us have learned are critical to the accuracy of the result.

Landis believes the leak could only have come from LNDD or USADA, an issue they expect to take up with the arbiters this week.

At the conclusion of the prepared remarks, Floyd gave a blistering attack, saying that he won the Tour fair and square; that is disappointed but not surprised by the leaked results, which show that what few rights athletes have are routinely ignored, reflecting a lack of ethics by the agencies. He thinks what happened at the LNDD borders on deliberate falsification and destruction of evidence.

During the Q and A, they suggested they might appreciate a delay in the hearing date, and are contemplating recourse to Civil Court.

Suh suggested that the process at the LNDD should result in non-admission of the new results.

Striking at bait dangled by one reporter, Suh went along with the characterization of anti-doping enforcement as a witch-hunt bordering on McCarthyism.

All told, it was about what one could have expected -- not much hard data was presented, and some of the questions seemed clue-challenged. It is very difficult for the Attorneys to get across how they feel about the system. Suh repeated himself several times, saying this is "very troubling." Another reporter wanted to know why Landis' experts could just stop things when they were denied access, and had to be told the tests were happening no matter what Landis' did.

In the meantime, the biased reporting of L'Equipe, taking the leak with no balance, races around the world.

Rant posted his version of Floyd's press conference.

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