France’s anti-doping authority, l'Agence Française de lutte contre le dopage (AFLD), has revealed that an international arrest warrant has been issued for the American cyclist Floyd Landis after he failed failing to appear before a judge to explain how he came by certain information used in his defence as he tried to clear his name after being stripped of his 2006 Tour de France.
Landis, who had become the first cyclist to stand on the Champs-Élysées podium in the yellow jersey following compatriot Lance Armstrong’s seven year domination of the race, was subsequently revealed to have tested positive for an abnormal testosterone/epitestosterone (T/E) ratio on Stage 17 of the race.
The former Phonak rider won that stage with a stunning 120km solo break after apparently falling out of contention for the overall win on the previous day’s stage, when he dropped from 1st to 11th in the general classification.
Landis and his coach Arnie Baker had been called last October by Judge Thomas Cassuto of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Nanterre to explain how he could have come by certain information used in his defence – information, it is alleged, that could only have been obtained by hacking into the AFLD’s computer system.
The cyclist’s failure to appear resulted in a warrant for his arrest being issued last November, and AFLD President Pierre Brody has revealed that a second warrant was issued on 28 January.
According to Agence France-Presse, Landis has spent some $1.6 million on legal fees incurred in a string of arbitration hearings and appeals as he tries to clear his name, his efforts proving fruitless as the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his case in 2008.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.