Floyd Landis has learned that his request for dismissal of the doping case against him has been refused. He will now face a three-person arbitration panel. This is likely to sit within the next four months and, at the request of Landis, will be held in public rather than behind closed doors. Landis is the first athlete to request such an open hearing.

Landis requests open arbitration hearing

A statement issued on Friday via Floydlandis.com said the Tour de France winner had "received notice that the Anti-Doping Review Board has recommended that the United States Anti-Doping Agency move forward in the disciplinary process related to Landis’ alleged positive drug test of July 20, 2006."

Howard Jacobs, lawyer for Landis, is to request an open hearing by the American Arbitration Association to contest any sanctions against his client.

Jacobs has called into question the validity of the tests carried out on the samples given by Landis after stage 17 of this year’s Tour de France. LNDD, the French laboratory at the centre of case, has form: it has been criticised in the past for mishandling of urine samples. Jacobs asserts that the positive finding on the B sample from Landis came from a sample number not assigned to Landis.

Last week Landis told a Spanish newspaper he would fight all the charges against him:

"The Tour’s doping tests are full of irregularities. I’m innocent and I think my lawyers are going to be able to prove it, though they’ve had lots of difficulties gathering information."

A spokesman for Landis said the request for an open arbitration hearing was a first:

"Floyd and his legal team really just want this process to be transparent. We want all the governing bodies involved to be examined in a public forum in the way that Landis has been."

AUDIO: Dick Pound of WADA being grilled by journalists
BLOG: Trust But Verify, daily reports on the science and politics involved in the Landis case.
SCIENCE: Or lack of it? Tom Fine’s critique of the carbon isotope ratio test. The Wall Street Journal’s Numbers Guy on statistics.
PROCEDURE: Bob Mionske, the VeloNews legal eagle, on the doping rules broken by WADA and the UCI.
PETITION: 3468 people have signed to date. Read the petition text, it’s all about LNDD and the public comments of Dick Pound.

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