|QUOTE (CoolJesture20 @ Aug 5 2006, 03:04 PM)|
|First winner to fail the doping test. What an idiot.|
|The Stage 17 comeback in the Alps was nothing compared to the uphill climb Floyd Landis has been on since he tested positive after his Tour de France victory.|
In his first interview since his "B" sample came back positive for unnatural testosterone on Saturday, Landis offered no new evidence to USA Today that he is innocent but said that the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency have not been following their own guidelines regarding his case.
Landis said that information leaked to the media and missing reports about his test results are making it nearly impossible to defend himself.
"I just got the information on the 'A' sample a day and half ago," Landis told USA Today for a story posted Sunday on the newspaper's Web site. "I had to find out about the 'B' from reading it in the media."
The results of his "A" test, which showed an imbalance in his testosterone to epitestosterone ratio, were made public July 27.
Landis said that sprinter Justin Gatlin's "A" test showing the same imbalance was not announced for three months, "while I had only two days to react to mine. [UCI head] Pat McQuaid said he had to release mine before the lab leaked it."
In more desperate straits than when everyone counted him out of the Tour before Stage 17, Landis has been fired by his Phonak team and the Tour de France no longer considers him its champion. Landis said his biggest mistake has been offering daily excuses for his positive test.
"I've been catching a lot of grief in the press: 'Floyd has a new excuse, a new reason for what happened,' " he said. "This is a situation where I'm forced to defend myself in the media. It would never have happened if UCI and WADA had followed their own rules."
Landis said there's "zero chance" someone on the Phonak team gave him testosterone -- either by accident or on purpose. But he didn't discount some kind of conspiracy by the UCI or WADA.
"There's some kind of agenda there," he told USA Today. "I just don't know what it is."
After he has hip replacement surgery in about two weeks, Landis will have to start preparing for his appearance before the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency sometime next month, where he will try to explain why his test results came back positive.