Say It Ain’t So…

From Yahoo News:

LONDON (AP) The Phonak cycling team says it has been notified of a positive doping test by Tour de France winner Floyd Landis.

17 thoughts on “Say It Ain’t So…”

  1. Interesting language. The term “notified” sounds official. On the other hand , accusations from those who are aggravated by any US cycling win was inevitable.

  2. Sad. Really. Maybe te last nail in the coffin for cycling. It´s depressing for me even taking into account that the new winner Oscar Pereiro is my fellow townsman. Shit…

  3. Geez. It’s worse than baseball.

    Assuming that its true, how the heck did he think he’d do it and not get caught?

  4. Nothing as yet on Drudge, although there are a number of stories about some recent no-shows. According to the UCI he tested positive for enhanced testosterone. I suppose it’s possible that under conditions of extreme pain his body might produce more testosterone, but I ain’t no medical professional.

  5. It’s not official yet. The positive result came from Landis’ A-sample, but there’s always the chance that it could be a false positive, so they’re now testing his B-sample to see if they can replicate the result. Only if the B-sample is positive will it be official that Landis was doping.

    I’m seriously hoping that his B-sample comes back clean, but I must admit I’m skeptical. Unfortunately, it’s going to be a massive blow to the sport if true, and I know I’ll certainly feel seriously cheated.

  6. from

    Tour de France winner flunks drug test
    Post of the Day: ‘ The problem is testosterone is
    being measured using European men as the standard’

  7. Demosophist and others, Landis has an arthritic hip and has been taking cortisone. With the knowledge of those who govern his sport. Apparently, it can affect tests like the ones Landis took. Wait and see before you put Landis into the same category as Bonds.

  8. Apparently, his testosterone was normal, but the other hormone they measure it against was low, giving him a non-permitted ratio.

    There are other, non-doping causes for the latter, including the cortisone treatment Landis is on for his hip. (And, uh, beer.)

    We’ll see, though the credibility of the sport has always been shaky.

  9. “Knowledge Problem has a useful post on this subject,”:
    including a longer discussion of FormerDem’s point above.

    bq. Two things boggle my mind on this. One is that the admittedly tainted sport of cycling has led to the media immediately leaping to the conclusion that Landis behaved illegally, when the correct inference to make from the data does not necessarily support that conclusion. At this point we cannot reject that conclusion, but it doesn’t sell stories to be statistically literate, does it? The other is that the UCI has publicized the results of the A test (although it was Landis’ team that identified him by name) before they have run the B test. That is unprofessional, and raises the criticism of the anti-American bias of French cycling. It would be better for the sport if riders did not attempt to enhance their performance illegally, and it would also be better for the sport if its organizers behaved with more professionalism and respect for statistical evidence.

  10. The other is that the UCI has publicized the results of the A test (although it was Landis’ team that identified him by name) before they have run the B test.

    I don’t believe that Landis can compete in races with a positive “A” sample test (correct me if I am wrong). With that in mind, it was proper for UCI to tell Phonak and Landis what was going on so they can bow out of future races.

    That is unprofessional, and raises the criticism of the anti-American bias of French cycling.

    UCI is a Swiss organization, and is headed by an Irishman. Le Tour had nothing to do with the publication of these results, and the lab that the specimens were sent to had no way of distinuishing whose urine they were testing.

  11. After reading about this on the blogs as well as the usenet racing forum I don’t think things look good for Floyd. The basic strategy is to take a performance-enhancing drug and then take testosterone to compensate for some negative effect of the original drug. The theory is that they didn’t get the dosage right on stage 16 so the muscles crashed. They then increased the dosage of T for stage 17 but failed to match to E, which had been depleted as well. That’s one scenario where he might end up with a “normal” T level but a depressed E level. Also there’s a French magazine reporting leaked information that an isotope test revealed that the T in his system was “exogenous” (not produced by the body, internally).

    Given the way this is shaping up, and the apparent certainty among the “insiders” I think the odds are pretty good that Floyd cheated, and that he thought he’d get away with it. The only reason he didn’t was the improper dosage and then the overcompensation, which set up the “flag” that UCI caught.

    Assuming this is correct, and Floyd cheated, this also casts doubt on Lance’s career. Apparently it’s quite possible to dope and not get caught if you’re very careful about dosages and regimes.

    Maybe this should have remained an amateur sport.

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