Floyd Landis to stand trial in France for hacking

Also: Yaroslav Popovych to testify in US doping probe

American Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his victory in the 2006 Tour de France for doping, and his coach Arnie Baker have been ordered to stand trial in France for computer hacking.

Landis and Baker are subject to an international arrest warrant and stand charged of "fraudulently breaking into a computer system", according to lawyer Frederik-Karel Canoy, who is acting on the behalf of the Vivendi media company.

Both Landis and Baker are suspected of illegally obtaining documentation from the French Anti-Doping Laboratory (LNDD) in a bid to contest the American rider's positive test results from stage 16 of the 2006 Tour de France.

Landis spent four years, and millions of dollars, in a bid to prove he never cheated to win the world's biggest bike race.

Earlier this year he finally confessed, though in explosive fashion -- alleging that he and many other former teammates, including Lance Armstrong, had systematically doped for years.

The French state prosecutor had initially ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge Landis with hacking, however that decision was overruled by the Tribunal Correctionel in Nanterre just outside Paris.

A Tribunal Correctionel is a criminal court which usually handles serious cases.

Yaroslav Popovych to testify in US doping probe

Ukrainian cyclist Yaroslav Popovych, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury that is probing doping in the sport, his lawyer said.

Attorney Ken Miller said Popovych will appear before the federal panel Wednesday in Los Angeles, but gave no further details.

The 30-year-old Ukrainian cyclist has been a rider on three Armstrong teams since 2005, when they both rode for Discovery Channel.

Federal prosecutors have called several associates of Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France champion, in recent weeks.

Allen Lim, an exercise physiologist for Lance Armstrong's Team Radioshack, appeared before the Grand Jury, as did Stephanie McIlvain, a long-time friend of Armstrong.

McIlvain's lawyer said she told jurors she never heard Armstrong admit taking banned performance-enhancing substances.

Investigators have been interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence in their probe of whether or not Armstrong and other pro cyclists took banned substances.

Testimony is kept secret and sessions are closed to reporters.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied all allegations that he ever took any sort of banned performance-enhancing substances.

© AFP 2010

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