Landis case: Friendly experts criticize testing & former manager enters rehab

Floyd Landis' team wheels out its experts to cast doubt on the testing; former manager gets help.


Floyd Landis’ team wheels out its experts to cast doubt on the testing; former manager gets help.



Floyd Landis’s team had a chance to present its side of the argument against his positive testosterone test at the 2006 Tour de France yesterday. The team called friendly experts Dr. Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, head of the Environmental Forensics & Human Health research lab of Queens College, Belfast and Dr. John Amory, a professor at the University of Washington and researcher into men’s reproductive health. In often intensely-technical testimony, both witnesses cast doubt on the validity of the testing behind Landis’ positive finding. Landis was found to have an elevated testosterone:epitestosterone ratio after stage 17 of last year’s Tour, and carbon isotope testing allegedly showed the testosterone in Landis’s sample was not produced by his body. Dr Meier-Augenstein accused the LNDD anti-doping lab of producing sloppy data, and said he was mystified by the lab’s procedures for determining which peak in the test data to interpret. “They must have some criteria, how do they choose? Divine intervention? I’m amazed. . How do you identify one unknown peak among 5 unknown peaks? I don’t know how they do it.” “I’m terribly sorry, but if someone’s life depends on it, his career depends on it, you don’t go on assumptions,” he said. Asked about the data from the from LNDD, Dr Amory said, “I don’t think they can be used to confirm doping occurred.” In particular, he said that you would not expect the testosterone:epitestosterone ratio to drop from 11:1 to 2.5:1 between tests on July 17 and July 22. Meanwhile, Landis new business manager Brent Kay has announced that his predecessor Will Geoghegan has entered rehab. Geoghegan allegedly attempted to intimidate Greg LeMond before LeMond gave evidence last Thursday, in a phone call that has since been blamed on the effects of alcohol. “He (Geoghegan) is distraught by his actions and is entering a rehabilitation program today in an effort to address his problems,” Kay said in an email posted on the Trust but Verify website. “The past few months have been remarkably stressful for Will and his decompensation (falling apart mentally and emotionally) resulted in the unfortunate and embarrassing incident last Wednesday. “While Floyd and the entire team find Will’s actions regrettable and abhorrent, he is still a friend and we wish him the best in his recovery.”