Full process of Landis dope test to take up to a year

Testing began in Paris on Thursday (3rd August) on Tour de France winner Floyd Landis's back-up doping sample, as his lawyer reiterated that he expects the result to confirm the original positive finding for elevated testosterone levels.

Paris, Aug 04: Testing began in Paris on Thursday (3rd August) on Tour de France winner Floyd Landis's back-up doping sample, as his lawyer reiterated that he expects the result to confirm the original positive finding for elevated testosterone levels.

Landis, who is now back in the United States, hopes to prove that he has naturally high testosterone levels.

If found guilty, he faces being stripped of the Tour de France title and banned for two years.

Testing has begun on Tour de France winner Floyd Landis's back-up doping sample.

Landis is facing the loss of his title and a two-year ban, having tested positive for unusual testosterone levels after winning stage 17 of the race.

He has rejected the results, saying he has naturally high testosterone levels.

With Landis now back home in the United States, his lawyers Jose Maria Buxeda and Luis Sanz were present for the start of the analysis of the 'B' sample at a Paris laboratory on Thursday.

The result of the test will probably be available on Saturday (5th August).

However, the entire process of determining whether the American cyclist is guilty of doping - or whether his body naturally produced the higher than normal testosterone levels - could take six months to a year.

After emerging from the laboratory alongside his colleague, Buxeda outlined Thursday morning's proceedings.

"We came here this morning, it was around nine o'clock, we had a short meeting with the director of the lab, with our expert also and with representatives from the UCI and the USADA, which is the United States anti-doping agency. We more or less saw the sample, we opened the sample, everything was apparently normal and now we are developing the analysis, the Te-ratio analysis and the IRMS analysis.": Jose Maria Buxeda, lawyer for Floyd Landis.

Buxeda reiterated that he expects the 'B' result to confirm the original positive finding for elevated testosterone levels.

"The reason why Mr. Sanz and myself said that probably the result is going to be the same is because statistically it is true that the results of the 'B' sample usually - not always - but usually confirm the results of the 'A' sample. Taking into account that the lab is applying the same protocol as they did with the 'A' sample, if the result is not the same this means that in the 'A' sample they made a mistake.": Jose Maria Buxeda, lawyer for Floyd Landis.

According to Buxeda, Landis is "certain" he hasn't ingested banned substances and hopeful that he can prove his innocence.

"Of course as he knows he is certain he hasn't ingested any prohibited substance and on the other hand he knows there is a natural explanation to the finding of these substances, then of course, yes, he's confident. He's pretty sure that we will be able to prove, if this result is confirmed, we will be able to prove that it was due to natural causes, to a natural reaction of his body, either usually or in the circumstances he was in that stage in particular.": Jose Maria Buxeda, lawyer for Floyd Landis.

A spokesman for the cyclist has already confirmed that a urine test on Landis after the tour's 17th stage turned up an 11:1 testosterone ratio - far above the average of 1:1, and the 4:1 legal limit.

Landis made a stunning comeback in the 17th stage after falling behind a day earlier.

He has said he will undergo further tests to prove that his body's natural metabolism - rather than doping - caused the elevated result.

If the 'B' sample is positive, the results will be sent to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which will then handle the case.

Under UCI rules, a negative 'B' sample is accepted as the definitive response and the positive 'A' sample is ignored.

Bureau Report

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