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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for November 16, 2006

Edited by Sue George

Landis team to present more defense evidence on Friday

By Shane Stokes

Floyd Landis (Phonak)
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)
Additional details which Floyd Landis’ defence team will use in their efforts to clear the Tour de France winner’s name will be released on Friday. Dr. Arnie Baker will present an updated version of the Floyd Landis slide show which details the arguments his defence team will use against the charges that he took testosterone during this year’s Tour.

According to a posting on the cyclist’s website, Baker will explain these new details while speaking at the Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona at 5:30 p.m. The site bills the updated slideshow as featuring “additional scientific arguments supporting Landis’ innocence against allegations of doping in the 2006 Tour de France.”

The presentation will take place on the eve of the 16th El Tour de Tucson, a 112-mile fundraising bicycle ride which is expected to attract 5,000 participants.

Landis and Dr. Baker set the a course record time back in 1997 when they finished first in the All Male Tandem Class, covering the distance in 4 hours 12 minutes.

Baker was quoted in the Arizona Daily Star this week as saying that he had serious concerns about the charges against Landis. "I looked at that package, and now I have a lot of facts. Now I have something to say," he said. "I was astonished at the lack of quality of the documents, or the apparent lack of quality from the lab of their analysis.

"He knows what he did or didn't do. He's saying this doesn't make sense. Somewhere along the line, someone's gonna figure it out."

Arnie Baker
Photo ©: Mitch Clinton
(Click for larger image)

Baker said that there was a 50-50 chance of Landis coming to Tucson, although it is unlikely he would take part in the ride. El Tour founder Richard DeBernardis has been in contact with the former Phonak rider by email and told the Daily Star that he hoped he would be in attendance.

"I'm still hoping that Floyd would come," DeBernardis said. "We just want Floyd to be here because it's one of his favorite events in the country. My personal opinion is that it would be a great thing for him," DeBernardis said. "He needs to know that there's a great number of cyclists that believe that he is being honest, that he is being truthful and that he is innocent.

"That's what I want to do for him, to back him regardless of how this thing turns out. It's got to be a shocking thing-to win the greatest race in the world and then be accused of doping."

The Landis case took a bizarre twist on Tuesday due to claims printed in L’Equipe that a hacker broke into the central email server of the Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory (LNDD), then sent emails purporting to be from the lab to sports institutions such as the UCI, IOC, and WADA. These emails reportedly attempted to highlight inaccuracies in the testing processes and procedures carried out by the lab.

According to L'Equipe, a person with close ties to Landis is suspected by investigators as being the author of the e-mails.

French lab admits administrative error

By Shane Stokes

Doctor Jaques de Ceaurriz of Châtenay-Malabry lab
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

The Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) has commented for the first time on a discrepancy regarding the coding of Landis’ B sample, saying that a typing error is responsible. According to Wednesday’s edition of the French newspaper Le Monde, the identification number referring to Landis had mistakenly been indexed with the wrong number on the counter-analysis report.

The identification number for the rider was 995 474 but one of those six digits was different on the B sample report, which bore the code 994 474.

The issue had been raised before by Landis’ defence team but this is the first time that Châtenay-Malabry director Jacques de Ceaurriz had commented on it. "It's an error as regards numbering, a typing error which has no significance whatsoever on the findings in the samples," de Ceaurriz told AFP. "These little mistakes happen. They are corrected, and noted." He said that WADA was aware of the incident.

While he maintains that the original findings stand, the admission is undoubtedly an embarrassment for the laboratory. Landis’s defence team submission to the USADA review board previously referred to the lab documents as being “replete with such gross errors and ineptitude that their results in this case cannot be seriously accepted as accurate.”

For its part, the laboratory insists that the typing error does not change the result, and says it fully stands behind the findings. "It wouldn't surprise me that Landis's lawyers use this information," De Ceaurriz added, "but the error does not wipe out the result of the analysis."

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

2007 Giro d'Italia includes mountain TT to remember Pantani

By Gregor Brown

Marco Pantani rides along in maglia rosa in 1999 Giro d'Italia
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

The 2007 Giro d'Italia will have a mountain time trial to remember Marco Pantani's win in the 1999 race. That year, the Italian climber won the stage to Oropa ahead of Laurent Jalabert and Gilberto Simoni while wearing the leader's maglia rosa. According to Tuttosport, the stage will cover the 13km and 757m of climbing from Biella to Oropa.

A mountain time trial was planned for the 2006 Giro, going up to Madonna del Ghisallo but the organizers, RCS Sport, were forced to scratch the stage because it conflicted with the final day's stage to Milan. For the 2007 edition, RCS reportedly wanted to have a mountain time trial in Toscana, climbing the Passo della Futa, but due to logistical problems finding parking space at the finish it was cancelled in favour of a "normal" stage to Scarperia.

Marco Pantani in 1999
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

The Oropa time trial adds to the numerous kilometers of time trialing that are rumoured to be in the 2007 edition. The race is slated to start in Sardegna on May 12 with an opening prologue time trial being likely, and then there is talk of a team time trial in Sorrento and a final individual time trial along Lago di Garda, near Verona, on the eve of the final day (June 2).

The official 2007 Giro d'Italia presentation will be held on December 2 in Milan.

Ullrich's lawyer describes plan for more aggressive defense

By Susan Westemeyer

Jan Ullrich's new attorney, Peter-Michael Diestel has said he won't rule out having his client provide a DNA sample. "If the investigation demands it, then we will do it," he told the Netzeitung. He hoped to establish a "constructive dialogue" with the various parties investigating the German cyclist.

Diestler's first mission is to put an end to the "ongoing injuries" to Ullrich's reputation. "Lately there have been many things said which are not true. We will react to those things." He told the press agency sid, that "We will no longer stand by and and let the reputation of one of the most prominent German athletes be destroyed without specific evidence and only by suspicions."

Diestel met with Ullrich and his manager, Wolfgang Strohband, in Zürich on Wednesday. Strohband told the sid that no decision had yet been reached about a new team or where Ullrich might seek a new license. "We are having discussions with many parties, but there is not [a] concrete result yet."

Diestel, who promised "quick legal actions," will be joined by defense attorney Johann Schwenn in defending Ullrich. The two attornies had previously worked together in defending track and field trainer Thomas Springstein, who was convicted of providing a doping substance (testosterone) to a minor (a 16-year-old female track athlete) and sentenced to 16 months probation. He became famous when two of his athtletes, sprint world champion Katrin Krabbe and European 400 meter champion Grit Breuer, were suspended for having used the drug Clenbuterol. German anti-doping crusader Werner Franke, who has involved himself in the Ullrich affair, told the Netzeitung, "Ullrich, Diestel, Springstein, they all fit together."

Saiz talking to Tinkoff?

German paper Ostee Zeitung reported that allegedly talks are underway between Manolo Saiz and Tinkoff. Saiz is a team director with a ProTour license, but no team after last year's Operation Puerto doping scandal, and Tinkoff is a team in search of a ProTour license for 2007.

However, when asked about the connection, Neil Stephens told Cyclingnews, "I have no idea what Manolo is doing. I have not heard anything about the Manolo/Tinkoff connection, and don't know anything about any plans for 2007."

Stephens is a former pro rider who has worked with Manolo Saiz for several years, both as a rider and as a senior official for his team. Stephens said earlier this year that he has an ambition to set up an Australian ProTour team, but also acknowledged that he had one year remaining on his contract with Saiz. He has previously told Cyclingnews that he will honor the remaining time left on his contract with Saiz's Active Bay company if the confusion surrounding Saiz and a new team is ultimately cleared.

Carney to lead pro team

Retired American criterium legend Jonas Carney has been named as 'performance director' of a new US professional team, the Kelly Benefit Strategies (KBS) pro cycling team.. One of the most successful U.S. riders of his era, Carney brings years of experience to the task of preparing the team for the upcoming 2007 race season. "Jonas Carney brings unparalleled cycling knowledge and experience to the KBS team," said John Kelly, president of title sponsor. "This is a major step toward our goal of developing an ultra-competitive cycling team to race in the United States and - someday - international cycling arenas."

As a pro throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Carney earned 17 national titles and more than 150 pro/elite victories. He excelled as a field sprinter, claiming four national criterium titles. A competitive cyclist since the age of eight, Carney picked up bike racing from his father, who was an avid cyclist. His brother Jame, a former Cyclingnews diarist, also raced professionally. Since retiring in 2004, he's coached adults and juniors cyclists on the track and the road.

"This is an exciting new challenge," Carney said. "Competing as a cyclist at the professional level takes a tremendous amount of skill, hard work, and commitment... I plan on applying those same characteristics to leading our athletes toward a highly successful 2007 season."

Carney will start his new job immediately, and is at work finalizing the roster of riders for the KBS team.

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