Floyd Landis may be back racing, but the repercussions of his positive test in the 2006 Tour de France continue.
The French authorities are pushing Landis and his coach, Arnie Baker, to testify before French investigators looking into the illegal hacking of data from the anti-doping laboratory of Châtenay-Malabry (Hauts-de-Seine).
Several months after Landis' positive test in July 2006, the president of l'Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage (AFLD), Pierre Bordry, filed a complaint that confidential internal documents had been distributed to sporting authorities and to media, with an aim of discrediting the lab.
According to the French newspaper Le Monde, an enquiry by the Office Central de Lutte Contre la Criminalité Liée aux Technologies de l'Information et de la Communication (OCLCTIC) identified the IP address of the sender of these documents as being that of Baker. He later used these documents in Landis's anti-doping hearing in America, and published them online.
More recently, a private detective agency run by a former member of the French secret services named Kargus Consultants was pinpointed as being the source for the computer hacking. They have also been implicated in an espionage case against Greenpeace. While they didn't give names, the hackers have said that they carried out the LNDD exercise on behalf of what they said were 'Anglo Saxon clients.'
The French investigators wish to speak to Landis and Baker about the matter, but thus far have not had much success. They were given a court subpoena on March 14 but did not respond. They were then contacted by an email to Baker's site on April 27. Landis did not reply, but Baker wrote back two days later.
According to Le Monde, he said "I live in San Diego, California. I have received your 'invitation', but I am not familiar with this kind of practice, and I do not understand what it is.
"What is the purpose of this summoning, and why would an American citizen would be summoned by the French police? If I choose not to go, what would the consequences be? What guarantee do I have to return quickly to the United States? Who will pay the travel costs?"
AFLD chief Pierre Bordry was quoted by the paper as considering more serious measures to force the two to testify.
"If it is the only way to get Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker to explain themselves, I will not hesitate to ask a judge to issue an international arrest warrant," he added.
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