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Cycling: Arrest warrant issued for Landis over data hacking

A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant for the US cyclist Floyd Landis in connection with a case of data hacking at a doping laboratory.

French anti-doping chief Pierre Bordry said yesterday that judge Thomas Cassuto is seeking to question Landis about computer-hacking dating back to September 2006 at the Chatenay-Malabry lab. Months earlier, the laboratory had uncovered abnormally high testosterone levels in Landis' samples collected in the run-up to his 2006 Tour de France victory. Landis was stripped of his title and banned for two years.

The American unsuccessfully challenged the results before an arbitration hearing, claiming computer files had been mishandled.

"Landis used the hacked files for his defence, that's how we discovered the scheme," Bordry said. "He tried to show that the lab made mistakes."

*Sky's strong early season continued in the Tour of Oman yesterday when Norwegian rider Edvald Boasson Hagen moved into pole position for the overall victory by claiming the race lead in a spectacular bunch sprint. He powered home in third place, which when combined with second on Sunday earned him the overall race lead.