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Floyd Landis's lawyer has attacked the International Cycling Union for a breach of its own rules relating to the release of information on suspected positive dope controls. With Landis awaiting the results of a test on his B sample from stage 17 of the Tour de France, Howard Jacobs has said that until the B test is completed "it should be strongly noted that there is not even a formal doping charge that has been filed against Mr Landis".
In a statement released by his Los Angeles office on Wednesday, Jacobs said he was "troubled by the actions of the UCI and how they have spoken out about this case, which is in direct contravention of the UCI's own rules and the World Anti-Doping Code. While there has been much speculation and reporting as to the cause of the A positive, the fact remains that the B sample has not been tested."
Within days of Landis's victory in the Tour de France which came largely as a result of his stunning stage win at Morzine on stage 17, the UCI confirmed an unidentified rider had tested positive and rumours immediately began to circulate that Landis was that rider. In the face of huge media interest, that news was soon confirmed by Landis's Phonak team.
Jacobs claimed the UCI should have known Landis's name would become public once the announcement of a positive test had beeen made "due to the confidentiality breaches that have been previously noted by many at the French [Chatenay Malabry] laboratory" where.
Jacobs also referred to a story in this week's New York Times, and attributed to a source at the UCI, revealing the alleged detection of synthetic testosterone in Landis's system. "This raises even more concerns, particularly following the provisional suspension earlier this year of a high-ranking UCI official for leaking documents and/or information," said Jacobs, referring to the UCI's head doctor Mario Zorzoli, who leaked information to French paper L'Equipe.
Jacobs later confirmed he has received documentation suggesting Landis has tested positive for synthetic testosterone, "but they don't provide any data to support it," he told Associated Press. "There's a conclusion that the test is positive, but it's not supported by anything."
Testing on Landis's B sample is expected to be completed at Chatenay Malabry on Saturday. If a positive test is confirmed, Landis faces the sack by Phonak and the loss of his Tour title.
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