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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for August 6, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones & Anthony Tan

Reactions to Landis B sample finding

The laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Reactions to 2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' B sample confirming the "adverse analytical finding" of the A sample, continue to leave the cycling world in a spin. Although legal proceedings may continue till December or January next year, possibly longer, it appears a number of the sport's figures have already cast judgement on the 30 year-old American, as can be read below.

When Landis' B sample returned positive, his Phonak team fired their star rider, effective immediately, which is in accordance with the ProTour ethical charter and the team's internal code of ethics.

Read the team statement: "Landis will continue to have legal options to contest the findings. However, this will be his personal affair and the Phonak team will no longer be involved in that.

"Team owner Andy Rihs deeply regrets this development. At present, he is clarifying with all parties involved what consequences this may have for his company ARcycling AG, the operator of the Phonak Cycling Team. Andy Rihs and Team Manager John Lelangue will make in-depth statements regarding this matter at a media conference to be held in the next few days."

Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, who finished second to Floyd Landis at the 2006 Tour de France and is poised to claim the winner's prize should the American be found guilty and sanctioned, appeared to have changed his tone to that of a few days ago.

In a recent interview with Cyclingnews, Pereiro said: "It is not the same - it doesn't have the same flavour," referring to the possibility of being named Tour winner before the result of Landis' B sample was known.

However, at a press conference in Vigo, Spain, today, he said: "Right now I feel like the winner of the Tour de France. It's a victory for the whole team." Added Caisse d'Epargne spokesman Francis Lafargue to AFP: "You can just about say he is the winner; we will just have to wait for confirmation of that in the months to come."

Christian Prudhomme, Director general of the Tour de France, said Landis is no longer considered champion of the 2006 event, but added: "Until he is found guilty or admits guilt, he will keep the yellow jersey. This is normal. You are not sanctioned before you are found guilty.

"It goes without saying that for us, Floyd Landis is no longer the winner of the 2006 Tour de France. Our determination is even stronger now to fight against doping and to defend this magnificent sport."

Prudhomme added runner-up Oscar Pereiro would be the likely new winner: "We can't imagine a different outcome," he said.

Landis' Spanish lawyer, Jose Maria Buxeda, said: "What matters is the concept. A prohibited substance has been found in the samples, but no immediate sanction comes into effect yet. The rider will defend himself." (AP)

"It is clear that the burden of proof will be ours to explain why the tests came back positive," Buxeda said to the New York Times.

"Either we can explain that there has been a mistake in the analytical procedure, or we can explain that there are other circumstances that have created an increase in the testosterone level and a finding that the testosterone was exogenous.

"I would not expect a decision to be made in Landis's case until December of this year or January of next year," Buxeda said.

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, who was highly outspoken about last year's winner Lance Armstrong when L'Equipe alleged he took EPO to win the 1999 Tour, told The Associated Press: "It's incredibly disappointing. I don't think he [Landis] has much chance at all to try to prove his innocence.

"When I heard it was synthetic hormone, it is almost impossible to be caused by natural events. It's kind of a downer. I feel for Floyd's family. I hope Floyd will come clean on it and help the sport. We need to figure out how to clean the sport up, and we need the help of Floyd."

Jonathan Vaughters, a friend and also a former US Postal Service team member told the New York Times, "He's already bunkering down and getting ready for a long fight."

"I don't think he even dared to have hope of that," said Vaughters, asked whether he believed Landis had hoped for a negative result. "To have the least bit of hope, then be let down, would be devastating.

"He is very adamant to prove his innocence, and as far as I know, as long as he has the finances, he'll continue to defend himself."

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

Red powder latest in masking technology?

More news is coming out of the Operacion Puerto affair, which seemingly has links to several different locations around the world. German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the Spanish Guardia Civil found fake EPO, originating from China, at Dr Eufemiano Fuentes Madrid laboratory, as well as anabolic products from a "secret laboratory". There are also reportedly small groups of "doping doctors" all over the globe with links to Dr Fuentes.

In their searches, the Guardia Civil found four envelopes containing a red powder, which is able to neutralise synthetic EPO so that it doesn't show up in urine tests. It's guessed that riders rub the powder on their hands and drop some of it in as they give a sample.

Courtesy of Radsport-news.com

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Four riders excluded from the Vuelta a Colombia

The medical inspectors at the 56th Vuelta a Colombia, which started today, have excluded four riders for having high haematocrits, after the entire field was tested before the race. The riders were Harvey Hernàndez (Frugos del Valle), Gerardo Rodrìguez (Colombia es Pasion), Paul Torres (Gobernaciòn del Zulia-Alcaldia de Cabimas) and Aldrin Salamanca (Loterìa del Tàchira- Banfoandes). They will not be able to race for 15 days, and will be subject to further controls before they can race again.

Astana for the Vuelta a España

By Antonio J. Salmerón

UCI ProTour Astana has already named its provisional line up for the Vuelta a España, which starts on August 26. Unipublic is allowing the team to take part in the race in accordance with the UCI's decision to allow it to continue, although there is still discussion about which licence it will race under. The yet to be finalised sale of the Active Bay licence to Astana, and the changes announced in the Astana organisational structure have not been considered to be grounds for Unipublic to exclude the team, even if Unipublic initially didn't want to allow any Astana rider implicated in Operacion Puerto.

The Vuelta team will consist of Carlos Barredo, Assan Bazayev, Alberto Contador, Andrey Kashechkin, Aaron Kemps, Sergio Paulinho, Luis Leon Sanchez, Alexander Vinokourov and Sergey Yakovlev. Among the substitutes, there are Jose Joaquin Rojas, Koen de Kort, Dani Navarro, Jose Antonio Redondo and Eladio Sanchez.

Astana has also announced its lineup for the Vuelta a Burgos (August 6-10): Aaron Kemps, Koen de Kort, Alberto Contador, Carlos Abellán, Dariusz Baranowski, Dani Navarro, Eladio Sánchez and José Joaquín Rojas and the Clásica de San Sebastián (August 12): Assan Bazayev, Andrey Kashechkin, Aaron Kemps, Koen de Kort, José Antonio Redondo, Luis León Sánchez, Alexander Vinokourov and Sergey Yakovlev.

Mayo, Contador and Hruska in Vuelta a Burgos

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Last year's Vuelta a Burgos winner, Juan Carlos Domínguez (Unibet.com), will have as his main rivals Iban Mayo (Euskaltel), in his first race back since the Tour, Alberto Contador (Astana) and Jan Hruska, who leads the controversial 3 Molinos Resort. But Rubén Plaza and Eladio Jiménez (Comunidad Valenciana), Jose Iván Gutiérrez (Illes Balears), Jose Joaquin Rojas (Astana), and Pedro Horrillo (Rabobank) can also be considered among the favourites for the Spanish tour.

The peloton will be composed of 144 riders from 18 teams, six of them ProTour: Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears, Euskaltel Euskadi, Saunier Duval and Astana (all Spain), Milram (Italy) and Rabobank (Netherlands). The continental professional teams are Kaiku, Comunidad Valenciana, 3 Molinos Resort, Relax Fuenlabrada and Andalucía Paul Versan (Spain), as well as Chocolade Jacques, Unibet.com and Landbouwkrediet-Colnago (all Belgium), and Acqua Sapone and Team Androni Giocattoli (Italy). finally, the field is completed by two Spanish continental teams, Grupo Nicolas Mateos and the Viña Magna-Cropu team.

3 Molinos Resort look to the future...

...but without 14 riders and 2 technicians

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The names of the 14 riders and two technicians who have been affected by the early withdrawal of 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística as a team sponsor have been revealed now. According to El Faro de Murcia, the riders are Jose Antonio Baños, Julio Bravo, Alexis Rodriguez, Jordi Riera, Sergio Dominguez, Ruben Lorca, Pedro Luis Castillo, Jose Cano, Mario Box Quinto, Isidro Cerrato, Rafael Casero, Francisco Pellicer and Pedro Martinez. They held a meeting with the sponsor on Friday to discuss their situation, which has deprived them of an additional year with the team, as they all had contracts running until the end of 2007. Only Jan Hruska, Santos González, Jorge Ferrío, Mikel Artetxe, Toni Tauler, Alberto Benito, Jesus del Nero and Jesus Buendia have deals for just this season, and will therefore not be affected.

But in the latest twist, 3 Molinos Resort has announced that, "there exists the firm intention of continuing indefinitely, but it is necessary to trim the team and the budget, without compromising on quality."

At the moment, the 3 Molinos Resort will take part in the Vuelta a Burgos with Jan Hruska, Jorge Ferrío, Mikel Artetxe, Jesús del Nero, Alexis Rodríguez, Eloy Teruel, Rafael Casero and Julio Bravo.

Breschel and Johansen extend

Team CSC has extended the contracts of Allan Johansen and Matti Breschel for one and two years respectively.

"These are two strong Danish profiles," said Bjarne Riis to team-csc.com. "Allan has a lot of experience as a rider and has had a great season this year. He has kept on delivering results, he's consistent and has a great attitude. It is well deserved, that he won the Danish Championships, and it's obvious to everyone, that he's keen to create more results. Matti is one of the really big talents both in Denmark and internationally. I think he has the chance to go very far in the classics and also the big one-day races. He's proven to us all, that he can compete with the best at the finish, and I look forward to following his progress over the next few seasons."

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