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Tour de France Champion Accused of Hacking

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the doping-is-for-hacks-and-vice-versa dept.

Crime 259

ub3r n3u7r4l1st writes "A French judge has issued a national arrest warrant for US cyclist Floyd Landis in connection with a case of data hacking at a doping laboratory, a prosecutor's office said. French judge Thomas Cassuto is seeking to question Landis about computer hacking dating back to September 2006 at the Chatenay-Malabry lab, said Astrid Granoux, spokeswoman for Nanterre's prosecutor's office. The laboratory near Paris had uncovered abnormally elevated testosterone levels in Landis' samples collected in the run-up to his 2006 Tour de France victory, leading to the eventual loss of his medal."

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Hackers on Steroids (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154288)

FINALLY that phrase makes some kind of sense.

Re:Hackers on Steroids (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154620)

I never thought I'd live to see the day; but I think we all owe Faux News an apology.

They warned us about "Hackers on steroids", and we laughed at them...

Re:Hackers on Steroids (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154982)

Hackers Suspected of Blood Doping doesn't really have the same ring to it.

What a concept! (4, Funny)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154320)

A hacker that doesn't weigh 250 lbs, doesn't live on Cheetohs, and actually exercises!

Re:What a concept! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154418)

He's clearly not a real hacker.

Re:What a concept! (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154592)

This has movie potential.

Re:What a concept! (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154780)

That stereotype is overrated.

I cycle about 15km a day (5500km a year), which is mostly to and from work, plus going to places at weekends. I weigh ~60kg, which puts me on the lower end of "healthy weight" for my height. One of my IT colleagues rows regularly, another belongs to a football team, another goes to the gym most days. Many others cycle or walk to work. There are only a couple of people I'd consider overweight.

Re:What a concept! (2, Funny)

caluml (551744) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154920)

Well, I'm a little tubby (and brown) after a month long holiday in South America, that there's one more to balance your list of thinnies out. :)

Re:What a concept! (1)

neurovish (315867) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155110)

That stereotype is overrated.

I cycle about 15km a day (5500km a year), which is mostly to and from work, plus going to places at weekends. I weigh ~60kg, which puts me on the lower end of "healthy weight" for my height. One of my IT colleagues rows regularly, another belongs to a football team, another goes to the gym most days. Many others cycle or walk to work. There are only a couple of people I'd consider overweight.

...and how often do they spend a weekend rebuilding their gentoo system to find the most optimum CFLAGS setting?

Re:What a concept! (-1, Troll)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155234)

only fat asses uses linux.

Otherwise, you will not pick up any girls (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155280)

This is the reason geeks drives girls out of CS.

Landis grew up a Mennonite (4, Interesting)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154334)

Landis grew up a Mennonite, sometimes refered to German Baptists, often mistaken as Amish. I'm not saying it's impossible for him to have learned the skills to do something like this, but I'm sure he has almost no access to a computer while growing up and his riding training probably kept him from honing his skills online.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154414)

I work with a Mennonite who drives a hybrid car, manages our 1500 node network, and has every latest gadget that can be purchased online. Go figure.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (2, Funny)

Publikwerks (885730) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154450)

Is he also a world class cyclist?

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (5, Interesting)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154516)

Landis grew up with traditional Mennonites. His parents had to go to someone else's house to see his performance in the Tour de France because they don't even own a TV.

I get your point. I went to college in Harrisonburg, VA, deep in Mennonite territory. Many stores had hitching posts for the horse and buggies Mennonites drove, but on the other hand the lead engineer at the only non-PBS station there was a friend of mine and a Mennonite and knew electronics better than I ever will, but Landis was raised in a traditional family. One problem he had when he was younger and wanted to ride was having to always wear sweat pants when training due to their issues about modesty.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154462)

The skills needed are to find someone who has the required computer skills and offer them something in exchange for doing a task.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154650)

I agree, so they either tracked down the real hacker who did this and that person confessed or they think Landis had the skills to do it.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154988)

Or they have enough evidence to implicate him in being involved according to whatever the French rules are and hence want to arrest him.

I have no idea where on the scale of "I have a hunch" to "I have absolute proof" the French system draws the line for issuing arrest warrants.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (5, Informative)

gilly_gize (470403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154510)

As someone who grew up in Floyd Landis' hometown...German Mennonites are not really comparable to Amish when it comes to the use of computers and even some of the Amish themselves have fine computer skills (using them at the library, just not at their home). Landis' could very well have had the same level of exposure to a computer as a child as any other American his age.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (4, Insightful)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154550)

Come on, noone is suggesting he did it himself. According to the press, he was accused after his lawyer presented documents in his case that he did not obtain through official channels. It seems more likely to me (as a complete outsider) that they bribed someone who had access.

The usual accusations of anti Americanism are getting very tiresome. Every year, several riders are kicked out of the race and stripped of any stage victories after failing a doping test. Landis failed a doping test. This was just the first time it happened to the #1 after the finish at the champs elysees. Noone gets to appeal this decision in court. Every rider who performs exceptionally has always been suspected or accused of doping in the media, not just Armstrong. It's just that American sports fans aren't interested in cycling, just in Lance Armstrong.

Previous tour winners Pantani, Ulrich, Riis, Indurain etc were all accused in the media of taking dope - some of them were caught - all the way back to the days of Anquetil who sort of openly used doping before it was banned. I don't remember American 3 time tour winner Greg LeMond being accused of doping, but I'm sure he was.

The Floyd Landis case is considered particularily insulting, because the winner failing a drug test smeared the reputation of the tour even further. He never apologised and now 2 years later he still hasn't accepted guilt and is still appealing that decision. With his 2 year ban expired, he was planning to compete in this year's race. It looks like some people in France really wish he didn't.

Now the question whether this treatment professional cyclists get is fair is another matter. The doping tests are a huge invasion of privacy, and upon failing a test the athlete is presumed guilty and expelled immediately, facing long time bans with very little legal recourse. False positives and sabotage cannot be ruled out, and if doping cases were judged in a court of law, few athletes would be found guilty beyond reasonable doubt. It just doesn't normally get this far. After a failed dope test, they usually go 'Ok, I'm guilty. I'm so sorry, I'll never do it again, I'm totally anti-doping from now on'

so many are missing the point here (2, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154674)

Come on, noone is suggesting he did it himself

And I believe the actual point Landis is making is that he felt the drug testing companies were somehow in error, somehow-or--other hacked into their network, and unearthed evidence that supports his claim.

It's not surprising that a drug company would go on the offensive to try to cover up their mistakes. That's the entire point Landis is trying to make here. It doesn't look like he's necessarily even denying the doping charges. He's questioning the evidence gathering and handling process that led to the accusation.

Unfortunately, breaking a different law when attempting to gather counter-evidence usually gets your counter-evidence thrown out in court. BUT, sometimes when it's a "court of the public" and a PR issue, it can prove useful. And I believe that's where he's going with this.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155042)

Amazingly, LeMond is the only Tour winner in the last 25+ years not implicated in a doping scandel. I grew up about 30miles east of where Landis did and I'm an avid cyclist. I was very upset when news of his positive test came out, even more upset in the years since due to his continued denials. Sure the lab made some procedural mistakes, but in the end, he had artificial steroids in his system. Had taken the David Millar route: Admin, Aplogize, help reform.. I'd welcome him. Had he gone the Kohl route, admit and retire, I'd have respected him.. Now I just wish he'd shut up and go away, but I hear he may sign with Rock Racing, another group of folks I wish would go away.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (2, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155104)

Nothing says 'I'm on steroids' better than testicular cancer...

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

Permutation Citizen (1306083) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155180)

Really, I can't understand public can still have an interest in Tour de France with all these dope scandals.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155216)

Really, I can't understand public can still have an interest in Tour de France with all these dope scandals.

How can people still be interested in pop music or movies with all these drug scandals?

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (0, Flamebait)

servies (301423) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155204)

There is a small problem with the French regarding the Tour: They're not thrustworthy in their judgement. If Floyd Landis had been named Richard Virenque the tests would probably have mysteriously disappeared. I'm not saying that he didn't cheat, but the French are very often using double standards regarding cycling...
I guess it has something to do with Armstrong winning the tour 7 times in a row which their own heroes Anquetil and Hinault never could...

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (5, Informative)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155278)

There is a small problem with the French regarding the Tour: They're not thrustworthy in their judgement. If Floyd Landis had been named Richard Virenque the tests would probably have mysteriously disappeared. I'm not saying that he didn't cheat, but the French are very often using double standards regarding cycling...
I guess it has something to do with Armstrong winning the tour 7 times in a row which their own heroes Anquetil and Hinault never could...

You mean like Richard Virenque who was ejected from the Tour in 1998 by French officials in the Festina scandal and who became a virtual pariah in his home country for his continued refusal to admit his guilt?

You don't read about non-Americans being accused of doping because you don't read about cyclists who aren't Lance Armstrong. All successful professional cyclists of the last 3 or 4 decades have been accused / suspected of doping.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

kbmxpxfan (1251818) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154926)

LOL! And you would say we Mennonites need the cultural education!

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (4, Informative)

zx75 (304335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155008)

Please readjust your thinking about Mennonites... you are so very wrong that you almost circle completely back again.

I will state for a fact that I am Mennonite. I got my first computer when I was 6 (1988) and I am currently employed as a software developer.

Although the Amish and the Old Order are Mennonites (which are among the few sects that have community restrictions on technology) the reverse is not true. It is equivalent to me saying that you are Christian, sometimes mistaken as Mormon. I'm not saying it's impossible for you to be monagamous, but I'm sure you were raised in a polygamous cult.

I will further add to my comment in saying that I do know some Old Order and Amish people, and have had a nice long conversation with an Old Order deacon and teacher who explained that it is not technology that they shun, but anything new that may split their community. They take a very long time to evaluate new techology (usually about 300 years or so) but they do use some modern equipment. The Old Order community that I was on used modern combines (computer controlled) in order to quickly and efficiently harvest their fields.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

DarKnyht (671407) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155120)

Amish also can have special battery operated Computers that let them do excel, word, etc. They also can use battery operated signals, and normally have a generator in the barn. There is also a trend for them to have a phone installed outside the house (in inconvenient distance away) with voice mail for emergencies, and Amish communities are probably the one place in the US that phone booths still make profits.

The issue isn't electricity, it is having the world outside their community intrude on their lives. In that regard, there are many times I agree that my family could use less outside influence in the evenings and more time as a family.

Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (1)

JamesP (688957) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155078)

OTOH Mormons seem to be very tech savvy. Or at least the one I know :)

Warrant only applies to France (3, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154342)

The warrant only applies to France. They are not seeking extradition. I do not know if Landis was actually guilty or not, but given the suspicious behavior of the lab and the French authorities during the initial doping case, it sounds to me like they simply want to prevent him from cycling in France ever again.

If the way he was riding last year in any indication, he would not be a contender for even a stage win in the TdF, but there is concern that he could take 20th overall, knocking the highest placing Frenchman to 21st.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154376)

The warrant only applies to France. They are not seeking extradition.

He's a professional bicyclist. Not being able to go to France is basically ruining his career.

It's like saying you can keep your car but no gas.

It's like saying you can have your pizza but no crust.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154416)

I usually leave the crust when I eat my pizza, you insensitive clod!

Re:Warrant only applies to France (0, Troll)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154484)

Which is the point, the French have been using lab tests to cheat at the Tour for quite a while. Ever notice how mysteriously one of the samples for Lance Armstrong went "missing" after the other was tested positive? The French just can't stand the idea that they were beaten fair and square by Americans so they trump up charges and try and get the results tossed out.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (1, Informative)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154536)

Anyone who watched Landis win the TdF and has followed the issue can find much more wrong with the tests than valid with them. He's been using a meter on his bike to measure his power output longer than other riders and he actually used less power in the day of that amazing catch-up ride than he did on many other days. Also, the drug he's accused of using is a blood level drug, one that provides most of the benefit over time and it builds up in the body, yet in the tests two and three days later there is no trace of it in his body at all. Also, only a few of the possible markers were there, most were not. And there's more.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154716)

I've been using a Cognitive Dissonance Meter for longer that most people, and it's just gone off the scale. No, you can't see it. It's myCognitive Dissonance Meter. You'll just have to trust me.

And there's more.

Sure there is. There's the USADA finding synthetic testosterone in 4 out of 7 'B' samples [go.com] , while Landis' coterie of lawyers wailed how unfair it was to run the synthetic tests on his B samples when his other A samples had shown clean. That's like complaining that the cops found weed in your glove compartment when you hadn't left any lying out on the dash.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155096)

If a scientific test is to have any meaning, it must be consistent and repeatable. If it tests positive on one sample and negative on the second, then either one of the samples has been altered, or that test was incorrectly done, or the test is unreliable because its results are not consistent and repeatable. You can't just ignore a negative result because you also have a positive one.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (-1, Troll)

X.25 (255792) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154644)

Which is the point, the French have been using lab tests to cheat at the Tour for quite a while. Ever notice how mysteriously one of the samples for Lance Armstrong went "missing" after the other was tested positive? The French just can't stand the idea that they were beaten fair and square by Americans so they trump up charges and try and get the results tossed out.

No wonder noone likes yanks.

Just look at your fucking reasoning, logic and generalisation.

You are an idiot.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (0, Flamebait)

guruevi (827432) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154466)

Ah, the French. They are always very 'proud' of their cyclists. So prideful that they actually will destroy somebody's career in order to have a 'frenchman' win or at the top.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (0, Troll)

godrik (1287354) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154558)

Ah, the French. They are always very 'proud' of their cyclists. So prideful that they actually will destroy somebody's career in order to have a 'frenchman' win or at the top.

For the record. I'm french and I don't care about cyclists which I think is the most stupid professional sport ever, save curling.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (0, Troll)

CodeArtisan (795142) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154736)

For the record. I'm french and I don't care about cyclists which I think is the most stupid professional sport ever, save curling.

Curling isn't a professional sport.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155112)

Nope, it's something women do to their hair...

Re:Warrant only applies to France (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154580)

Ah, the French. They are always very 'proud' of their cyclists. So prideful that they actually will destroy somebody's career in order to have a 'frenchman' win or at the top.

You xenophobic idiot. Last time a frenchman won the tour de France was in 1985 - that's 25 years ago.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (3, Funny)

jason.sweet (1272826) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154948)

You xenophobic idiot. Last time a frenchman won the tour de France was in 1985 - that's 25 years ago.

Wow. Not only do they suck at cycling, they also suck at cheating!

Re:Warrant only applies to France (5, Interesting)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154652)

I know, it's totally bogus how those underhand Frenchies must have infiltrated the United States Anti-Doping Agency which found synthetic testosterone in 4 out of 7 of Landis' B samples [go.com] . Will they stop at nothing to sully the names of honourable American athletes?

Re:Warrant only applies to France (1, Insightful)

bahbar (982972) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154660)

I'm French, and I'm baffled. How can this kind of comment make it to Insightful ? In case you're not aware, the French have no cyclists to be proud of. None. Why we would kill an American's career to facilitate the win of a Spanish, Netherlander, another American, a British, another Netherlander, a German, an Italian... shall I go on ? Oh... right, because we're proud.

Re:Warrant only applies to France (1)

teslar (706653) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154876)

Hasn't it been like 25 years since the last Frenchman (Hinault) won the Tour De France?

Re:Warrant only applies to France (4, Interesting)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154898)

A ex-coworker of mine was in the second french cycling league.
He was very close to getting into the first league. So he informed himself. And the rules are:
1. Learn how to touch the wheel of the one in front of you in a way that makes him fall down, or at least slower.
2. Use doping. Period. Or else you won’t get in the first league.

There is a system against doping. This is how it is supposed to work:
Doctors from the competing teams do the doping tests on you. Because they have the greatest interest in fucking up your team.

This is how it actually works:
The doctors are the one administering the doping. And everyone does it. So if anyone would tell the truth, his own team would be dead in the blink of an eye. Which means nobody really tests anything. It’s the concept of mutually assured destruction.

Now you may realize, that every “doping scandal” only was someone falling from grace. (Which can end in a large flame-war, like when pretty much every team suddenly gets “caught”.)

Re:Warrant only applies to France (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154868)

+1 for humor

Hacking cyclists? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154344)

Oh come on, a hacking cyclist? Everyone knows professional cyclists are even dumber than professional soccer players. The French just can't stand loosing from Yanks, look at all the allegations they made against Lance Armstromg.

Re:Hacking cyclists? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154472)

Everyone knows professional cyclists are even dumber than professional soccer players

Do you have statistics on that?

Also, is hacking such a mystical activity for you that you want it to remain magically hard and uncomprehensable for yourself, that the tought of a cyclist (which you've stereotyped for yourself in some way) would rob you off all selfpriding and selfattributed intelligence if he would be able to pull something off you cannot, in your self constructed world where hackers are evil geniusses? (that reminds of those "hacking"-courses where these dull network admins are taught to nmap and with a broad smile proclaim they "wont use their hacking skills for evil" and are "now certified".)

I work with software day to day, but I'm not a "hacker", even thoughwhen I was a teen I used to "hack" stuff if I thought the payoff was great enough. Only it wasn't "hacking" to me, but achieving a goal; like circumventing security in place to go online, ISP blockages to fileshare, get porn, cracking registrations on software or just access data that seemed interesting enough for me to try to think a way to get it. While at the same time I was searching for the "mythical hacking", and never have found it. It just pays the bills now that I was looking deep enough to try to understand systems in the process and now work in that.

Simulary, I believe anyone thinking the payoff would be great enough (staying in running where you've trained very hard for) that's motivation right there to get online, google a bit and in the most easy case get a scriptkiddie to do it for you.

"hacking" isn't hard if you have a goal and you attribute enough meaning to it.

So if your "hacking cyclist" falls outof your scifi romantic lone nerd saving the world view, I'm sorry buddy. And no, I'm not a cyclist. I just don't like selfserving generalisations.

Re:Hacking cyclists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154544)

No, it's the other way around: nobody with any significant level of computer skill is in anywhere near the physical shape necessary to bike the Tour de France. Everyone knows computer geeks have less muscle mass and stamina than your average coma patient.

Re:Hacking cyclists? (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155020)

Everyone knows computer geeks have less muscle mass and stamina than your average coma patient.

As a current and longtime comatose patient I can indeed attest to this...

Re:Hacking cyclists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154610)

He's still a dumb cyclist who can't hack shit. Tl;dr.

Re:Hacking cyclists? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154498)

Oh come on, a hacking cyclist? Everyone knows professional cyclists are even dumber than professional soccer players. The French just can't stand loosing from Yanks, look at all the allegations they made against Lance Armstromg.

Oh, look, everybody, the troll is even dumber than a professional soccer player.

What's the matter with you? Did a French soccer player knock up your mom?

Re:Hacking cyclists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154548)

Oh wow, one spelling error and a typo in a language that is foreign to me. So now I am dumb. No matter that I speak five languages, now I am dumb. How many languages do you master?

Re:Hacking cyclists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154634)

master might be a stretch.....

Re:Hacking cyclists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154958)

No, just knocked her down with a headbutt.

Top Cyclists are pretty smart. (3, Informative)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154782)

Uh.... I have two state time trial championships, and finished fourth in my class at the American Mountain Bike Championships. Top cyclists are pretty smart people, and you have to be to get your body in the kind of shape to perform at that level.

A friend who has won over 6 state championships says the strongest guys doesn't always with, but the smartest strong guy usually does. He fits that description to a T.

Re:Top Cyclists are pretty smart. (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154896)

Top cyclists are pretty smart people, and you have to be to get your body in the kind of shape to perform at that level.

Yes, well those drug names can be very difficult to spell ...

I'm so tired of all this "I had a bit of a cold coming on", so instead of taking a bloody Aspirin, they take some wierd "cold cure remedy" with an unpronounceable name that just happens to contains the very steriods and performance enhancers that they KNOW are banned for professional sports.

Come on, who the hell do they think they are kidding ? Not just cyclists (which has got to be the most boring "sport" ever), but any athletic activity where they know drugs are banned but try any trick in the book to get around the restriction, then scream innocence when they get caught.

If even ONE sample tested positive, then I don't give a crap about future negative tests ... That's like saying it's okay to drive drunk provided you test sober 24 hours later.

Champion? (1, Informative)

unixcrab (1080985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154354)

Why does the heading refer to him as a champion? He is no champion. He cheated and had lost the medal.

Re:Champion? (2, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154402)

Why is this modded troll? Wikipedia appears to agree [wikipedia.org] :

Floyd Landis (born October 14, 1975) is an American cyclist, from Farmersville, Pennsylvania, best known for being disqualified for a doping offense after finishing first in the 2006 Tour de France.

Re:Champion? (2, Insightful)

artg (24127) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154464)

Because the behaviour of the lab and the french looked a lot more dodgy than Landis.

Re:Champion? (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154612)

Nevertheless, the original post appears to me to be factually correct, unless you're disputing "he cheated" and would prefer something more like "He was accused of cheating".

Re:Champion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154918)

Ah yes, the poor little doper should be accepted by society but an entire nation, particularly the people working for multiple labs which also include US ones, should be persecuted and vilified. That makes all the sense in the world.

Re:Champion? (2, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154476)

The official decision was to strip him of his title. I just don't understand why. Perhaps someone can clarify. He had daily tests. One day he is clean. The next day he crashed, had a surge of adrenaline and made up tons of ground after the crash. His testosterone was exceptionally high the day of the crash. It was normal again the next day. No drugs were found in his system.

So his crime was having exceptionally high testosterone for one day after a natural massive adrenaline surge.

I admit I'm biased in not trusting Tour de France officials after they repeatedly let in tons of known cheaters who have failed all kinds of doping tests (so long as they are European) and then go on crusades to try and discredit Lance Armstrong. So when they went after Floyd Landis with what appears to be very little proof, I tend to assume this is part of their crusade.

Re:Champion? (2, Insightful)

unixcrab (1080985) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154528)

Is wikipedia also part of some conspiracy to discredit poor innocent Americans? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Landis#Doping_case [wikipedia.org] "Under UCI rules, the determination of whether or not a cyclist violated any rules must be made by the cyclist's national federation, in this case USA Cycling, which transferred the case to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)." The evidence was good enough for the USADA but it's not good enough for the experts on slashdot?

Re:Champion? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154576)

I didn't say he was definitely innocent. I said I admit I'm biased because of the Lance Armstrong story. However the details that I've read don't add up.

Perhaps you can enlighten me on the details I'm apparently missing out on.

Re:Champion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154690)

just to let you know, Lance Armstrong is notoriously doped. Everybody with a bit of common sense won't dispute that.

Re:Champion? (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154932)

Troll much? It's a highly disputed subject that will never be agree on until he actually shows without a doubt that he's a doper. Until then, even if he's not guilty, the speculators will always make up stuff. It's a no win scenario for athletes. They can be completely innocent and still be considered cheaters. And I'm not saying Lance is or is not using drugs but he's innocent until convincingly proven guilty. This has not been achieved yet considering he still rides.

Re:Champion? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154992)

just to let you know, Lance Armstrong is notoriously doped. Everybody with a bit of common sense won't dispute that.

Possibly, but i hope you don't believe it was doping that made the difference between Lance Armstrong and Jan Ulrich.

The whining about Anti Americanism is getting tiresome though. Ever since doping was first banned in the late '60's, ALL of the most exceptional cyclists have always been accused or suspected of using doping in the media, not just the American ones! Some were caught sometimes, like the great Eddie Merckx, and some, like Armstrong and Indurain have never been caught.

Dozens of French contenders have been disqualified and banned from the Tour over the years! You just don't read about them in the American media, because hey, who gives a fuck about Virenque (who?). Cycling is not a popular spectator sport in the US, people only read about Lance Armstrong because of the guy, not because of cycling.

Re:Champion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155100)

why would I believe that? Both Armstrong and Ulrich are/were doped, only Armstrong didn't get caught properly, Ulrich is still banned from cycling from the german federation fyi

Re:Champion? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155282)

Armstrong is perhaps the single most tested athlete on the planet, and he has never failed a single test.

Surely common sense would dictate that means he is guilty. Wait, how does that add up?

Nevermind, you're an AC troll.

Re:Champion? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154834)

There were several issues with the case in general:

- There were several mistakes with tracking numbers of the so-called anonymous samples; these numbers should have all been consistent, but were not. In some cases, white-out was used to make corrections.
- There were irregularities in test procedures, including with calibration of the device used to test the testosterone level. The technicians appeared to not be competent in the operation of the device, and interpretation of results.
- One the original test results sheet provided to Landis and his defense team, there were actually 3 test results, and 2 of them were below the allowed threshold. Personnel from other UCI-approved labs have stated (in confidence) that those results would not have triggered a test failure in their lab. These personnel are not allowed to testify in the arbitration hearing, since they are barred from doing so by the UCI as a condition of becoming a UCI-approved lab.
- The test was not measuring testosterone levels, which vary by person and situation, but a ratio of one kind of testosterone to another. The actual testosterone level was not high, but the amount of the 'other testosterone', whose level is the denominator, was low.
- These were supposed to be anonymous tests, but the results were announced in haste by the UCI because the French press had gotten the results from the lab, and were about to go public with them. This should be a major strike against the lab.
- The arbitration hearings that result in a suspension do not appear to be at all like a normal legal proceeding, and they seem to be organized to rubber stamp (my opinion, of course) the results of the test lab. Landis' team introduced facts that helped their case, but it doesn't look like the 3-judge panel was all that interested in facts. Even so, the vote against him was 2-1, so one of the judges did not believe the test results either.

There is a good paper on the case, written by a retired criminalist (whatever that is), at this location: http://www.cacnews.org/news/4thq07.pdf

Some are saying that Landis' performance on the stage on which he tested positive was 'super-human', but he was riding with a PowerTap (which measures power output at the rear wheel hub), and it indicated that he was riding at power levels that he had ridden at in previous races that year (and for which he did not test positive for elevated testosterone). One unusual circumstance of the performance was that he rode ahead early in the race so that he was riding alone, allowing his team car to be near him most of the way, and to keep giving him cold water bottles, around 90 in all. 80 of these he used to douse himself, allowing him to stay cool (it was in the upper 90's in temp), while those in the pack did not have that luxury.

Re:Champion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31155122)

One unusual circumstance of the performance was that he rode ahead early in the race so that he was riding alone, allowing his team car to be near him most of the way, and to keep giving him cold water bottles, around 90 in all. 80 of these he used to douse himself, allowing him to stay cool (it was in the upper 90's in temp), while those in the pack did not have that luxury.

He was also getting towed by the car when they where handing him those bottles.

Re:Champion? (5, Informative)

sluke (26350) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155024)

I don't think this is entirely accurate. From what I can recall, the case against Landis was from two tests. The first showed that his T/E ratio was well outside the normal ratio for humans. Note that this is different from having elevated testosterone, in fact I believe his testosterone was actually lower than normal. It was just that his epiesterone was WAY lower than normal (these are normally about equal, his ratio was 12/1). As far as I remember this test was somewhat discredited due to shoddy procedures at the lab. The one that stuck was an isotope test which showed that the testosterone in his sample had a different isotope ratio than is found in humans. From this they concluded that it was synthetic and thus upheld the ban. I don't claim to entirely agree with all of their methods or even the results of the test, but I really don't think it's fair to say that he crashed, had a surge of adrenaline and subsequently tested positive.

Re:Champion? (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155218)

I hadn't heard about the isotope test, but that makes more sense. Thanks.

Re:Champion? (1)

digit1001 (1009191) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155182)

I think the issue was he had amounts that would be nearly humanly impossible to produce. He was ahead, but totally fell apart, "losing any chance of victory" according to the announcers, then the next day he blew everyone away by such a margin he re-gained the lead. It was awesome to watch and heartbreaking to learn it may have been tainted. The part I've never understood is why steroids? I'm a cyclist and have issues with my tailbone. I'm going this Friday to get a steroid injection between two of the bones, and was told, "there will be little effect for at least 2 days". So... if it's not an immediate benefit, why would Landis use THAT drug to cheat. I would think EPO or other performance drugs would have been a better choice. That's the argument I'm surprised no one else picked up on. I'm sure steroids would be of benefit for building muscle or recovery, but I'd think they'd have been used earlier in the race or before and would have turned up then. These were some of the last stages of the tour, after they'd ridden about 2000 miles and had maybe 3 days left to race. Doesn't seem like the optimal time to use. I'm no doctor though, so maybe I missed something in the biology/physiology involved.

Re:Champion? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155240)

The testosterone levels found could not have occurred naturally. There was also evidence of exogenous testosterone.

Flandis made all sorts of claims, most of which involve someone tampering with the samples. Maybe that happened, but he wasn't able to show that to the satisfaction of the judges, both French and American. If we expect to keep banned substances out of cycling we have to have some means of testing for them, and what we have now are best means we've devised so far. We either accept their decisions or we might as well open up the sport to whatever drugs an athlete might want to take.

No offsite backup? (2, Insightful)

niftyguy (1745152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154362)

Can't imagine how these clowns manage to function when they only keep one copy of all their results.

He is accused of directing the "hacking", not (4, Informative)

yourpusher (161612) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154364)

actually engaging in it.

That is an interesting way to form (1)

gencha (1020671) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154666)

a reply.

I hate people who (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154802)

start their comment in the subject and continue it in the body. At least have the courtesy to start the message with ellipses so you know there was something prior, and not just a poster with poor grammar.

You must be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154962)

new here

Landis is not the "Tour de France Champion" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154370)

He's not a TdF champion, he's a cheat who had his medal withdrawn. The guy who finished 2nd, Oscar Pereiro, is now officially the winner.

Re:Landis is not the "Tour de France Champion" (2, Interesting)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154994)

Yeah well considering how well Pereiro has been doing since that year, Pereiro and the rest might have been a pure joke allowing Landis to win and appear like a superman. Had Lance run that year, he might have looked like superman x10. Same for the other years until 09. The best talent is really young right now, no one is calling Schleck(s) or Wiggins dopers yet they embarrassed the previous years champions since Lance (or Landis considering he wasn't there but my bets are that he would have been no where near top 6).

Re:Landis is not the "Tour de France Champion" (1)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155150)

He's not a TdF champion, he's a cheat who had his medal withdrawn.

I don't think the prize for winning the TDF is a medal.

abnormally elevated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154420)

I guess his privileges was elevated as well then.

Can anyone fill the gaps in the story for me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154424)

This particular quote got me confused, because "hacked files" can both mean "illegally changed files" or "illegally obtained files":

"Landis used the hacked files for his defense, that's how we discovered the whole scheme," Bordry said. "He wanted to show that the lab made mistakes in the handling of the tests."

Supposing this is true, what does that mean, exactly? That Landis adulterated results in a scheme to fake his innocence or that the flaws that he exposed were genuine mistakes but discovered by him through illegal means?

Re:Can anyone fill the gaps in the story for me? (2, Insightful)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155026)

It means that someone, I believe the hackers have already been found, obtain these files illegally. Landis used the files to attempt to prove his innocence (nothing wrong there). The problem is, what level of involvement did he have with the hackers in the first place. They want to show that he put them up to it or financed them or something. The lab in question and the French doping agency are embarrassed and would love to get payback. I always had a feeling that they might have fudge the results to get some massive publicity and glory.

Hackers on sterioids! (1)

martinux (1742570) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154434)

Has he just uncovered himself as a member of Anonymous?

Smokescreen (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154448)

The quality of the lab's work is in question, as well as the chain of evidence and the behavior of the testing and adjudication process. This is an effort to draw the light away from the French bungling of matter. I doubt Landis himself did anything but that doesn't mean somebody didn't do something on his behalf and without his knowledge. Perhaps he did know, in which case he needs to study the Presidency of Ronald Reagan as regards "plausible deniability." President Reagan wrote the book on that.

Landis made a bad decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31154638)

Doping himself was unforgivable. Now if he had doped a young girl and then raped her, the French would be celebrating him as a hero.

Re:Landis made a bad decision (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155152)

Doping himself was unforgivable. Now if he had doped a young girl and then raped her, the French would be celebrating him as a hero.

You know, I think AC intended this to be a troll but it's honestly kind-of true so pretty damn funny..

Asperger's Syndrome (2, Funny)

Ziggy2k8 (1406541) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154676)

Doesn't he suffer from Asperger's Syndrome? We need to keep him in the US so he doesn't harm himself if he gets extradited.

Title inaccurate (2, Informative)

brucmack (572780) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154694)

The title is inaccurate, as Landis is not a Tour de France champion. What an athlete is stripped of a title, it means you shouldn't be using that title to describe the athlete any more. Logical, no?

No Tour champion involved in the article (1)

oronet commander (1084507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154734)

Tour champion? Last time I checked it was Oscar Pereiro who won the Tour in 2006. "Blonde mennonite rider on testosterone accused of hacking" would be truer, and more commercial.

Seeking to question, so make an arrest? (2, Interesting)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | more than 4 years ago | (#31154960)

I guess I'm a little confused about the French laws and I'm hoping someone can help. They issued an arrest warrant because "Judge Thomas Cassuto ... is seeking to question Landis...." In the U.S. you don't issue an arrest warrant simply to question someone, do you? Maybe I'm just a little confused about the legal terminology, but I doubt I'm the only one. Some searches didn't really prove fruitful (they actually seem to support my view regarding the U.S.).

So, do the French actually file charges against Landis as part of the warrant or does it simply mean they plan to detain him for questioning and then let him go?

Bull*hit (0, Offtopic)

h.ross.perot (1050420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31155130)

.. everyone knows Lance is the better HaKrz. But on a serious note; why can the cycling world and especially the French accept the fact that riders from all over the world; not just the French are top level athletes. Lance is the man; and I am afraid the French can't stand the FACT he is an exceptional athlete. Sad they have to take it out on the entire USA team. No French Fries today; thank you. I'll have Sauerkraut.
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