Skim through the acres of news devoted to
Floyd Landis’s positive drug test and you’ll arrive at one fairly simple
conclusion: he’s a goner. True or not, fair or not, right or not, the world’s
media doesn’t paint a hopeful picture for the American, who doesn’t need to
read a word of it to know his career is poised to slip into a prolonged
hibernation, especially after suffering another blow overnight.

His claim that the elevated level of
testosterone was natural has now been discredited.
Showing levels in excess of two the times the legal amount, testers have
determined the testosterone in his sample is synthetic, not the result of his
body’s natural metabolism as he originally claimed.

If the result of the B test (due Saturday) confirms
the illegal levels of testosterone (which some are now suggesting were as high
as 11:1, the legal limit is 4:1), Landis faces a two year ban. But if he can
prove he “had no fault or no significant fault, there could be a mitigation of
the sanction,” Dr Gary Wadler, a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency, told
the New York Times.

That mitigation comes with strings
attached. “No matter how it got there, the athlete has to show how it got into
his or her body. It could have been sabotage or contaminated dietary
supplements, or something else, but they have to prove how the testosterone got
there,” Wadler added.

Pat McQuaid, head of the Union Cycliste Internationale, added his own view to the
debate yesterday, saying “It’s imperative that the B test be done this
week for the credibility of our sport, but also for the public interest. This
needs to be put to rest because there is too much innuendo, too much talk, too
much damage being done to our sport.”

Makes you wonder why the B test wasn’t done
before the news was made public in the first place. Despite all the “evidence”
pointing toward a guilty verdict, the half-convicted Landis will finally know
his fate come the weekend.

Peter Fray

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