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Cycling: Landis uses website to rebut doping charges

Floyd Landis yesterday rolled out key elements of his defence against doping charges in an online presentation, several months before he is due to present his case to an arbitration panel in hopes of keeping his Tour de France title.

On his website, Landis posted a presentation prepared by Arnie Baker, a retired doctor and the cyclist's long-time coach and adviser, as well as several hundred pages of documents. The presentation highlights inconsistencies in the paperwork and the results provided by the French laboratory that reported elevated ratios of testosterone to epitestosterone in Landis's samples, as well as the presence of synthetic testosterone.

Landis is due to present his appeal to the American Arbitration Society in late January or early February, and could also appeal to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. Landis's positive result was announced days after his Tour de France win in July and the race organisers have elevated the runner-up Oscar Pereiro to first place.

Landis contended that a number of factors could have triggered the result - thyroid medication, cortisone injections he was taking for a damaged hip, his body's tendency to produce too much testosterone, even the whiskey he drank the night before the Stage 17 win that preceded the positive result. The online presentation contends that, among the French lab's mistakes, it incorrectly labelled samples and ignored World Anti-Doping Agency testing standards.

The Italian cyclist Ivan Basso is likely to avoid doping charges after Italian Olympic Committee officials asked for his case to be dropped. The Giro d'Italia champion was placed under investigation after being implicated in a Spanish police inquiry into blood doping.