Floyd Landis ‘B’ test is positive

Tour de France champion Floyd Landis’ backup urine sample confirmed high levels of testosterone, cycling’s governing body said Saturday, raising the prospect that he could lose his title.

Following the results of the “B” sample, Landis was fired by his Swiss team, Phonak. He also faces a two-year ban from USA Cycling, which is responsible for sanctions against the American rider.

I’m certainly no expert, but I find it hard to believe that these positive tests prove Landis is guilty of doping for the following reasons:

  • The tests have been alleged to show a high ratio between two naturally-occuring substances (testosterone and epitestosterone), but not the presence of foreign substances.
  • Several other tests were performed on Landis’ samples during the Tour (he says eight times) and presumably none of them were positive.
  • In eight years of professional riding, Landis has never failed a drug test.
  • Why would one dope and then perform at such a blistering pace as he did on Stage 17, knowing the attention that would draw?

Perhaps I’m just naive; what do you think?

Update: Floyd has detailed comments asserting facts about the tests that don’t appear to have made the mainstream press (yet). He alleges that his epitestosterone levels were low, and that caused the imbalance. That’s a lot different than the assertions that he took synthetic testosterone to boost his levels.

Update 2: Boy, the media seem eager to villify Landis without even attempting to obtain more substantive information about the tests. It’s so depressing I don’t even want to link to the stories I’m seeing.