PARIS – Floyd Landis insisted Sunday he was drug free when he won the Tour de France, and said that a French laboratory “made some mistakes” when its results showed he had elevated levels of testosterone.
The American’s positive doping test came less than a week after he won cycling’s biggest race on July 23.
Although the Chatenay-Malabry lab is accredited by the International Olympic Committee and the World Anti-Doping Agency, Landis believes it got his test results wrong.
“Even the best people make mistakes,” Landis said in an interview for French television. “I can’t say that the lab is always a bad lab, but I can say that in this case it made some mistakes … I did not take testosterone.”
Landis was fired by his Phonak team within an hour of the positive test. In the following days he said a number of factors could have triggered the findings, including thyroid medication, cortisone injections for a damaged hip, dehydration, his tendency to produce too much testosterone, or some whiskey and beer he drank to celebrate winning the 17th stage the day after crumbling in the Alps.
“I have to rely on my lawyers and the scientists, because I am a bicycle racer,” Landis said. “That’s all I know. I have to wait until the scientists can prove it. I hope that everybody will try to keep an open mind.”
Landis couldn’t explain why his tests showed a testosterone-epitestosterone ratio of 11:1 â€” well above the accepted limit of 4:1.
“I was not trying to make a connection between alcohol or with the drugs test,” he told the Stade 2 sports program. “I was trying to tell a story in detail of what happened the day before, and hoping somebody maybe had an explanation.”
Testosterone, a male sex hormone, helps build muscle and improve stamina. The urine tests were done July 20 after the 17th stage victory during a grueling Alpine leg, when he regained nearly eight minutes against then-leader Oscar Pereiro.
The comeback was hailed as the best single-stage ride of modern times, and one of the best ever in the 103-year Tour history.
Give it up Floyd. Nobody believes your excuses anymore.
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