Floyd Landis' "A" urine sample taken July 20 after his Stage 17 win at the Tour de France and tested at the Laboratoire National du Dépistage du Dopage (LNDD) at Chatenay-Malabry outside Paris showed an elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio in a test that measures the levels of two hormones naturally produced by the body.
Most people have a 1-to-1 ratio. The World Anti-Doping Agency code allows a ratio of up to 4-to-1. Landis' sample was said to have tested at 11-to-1.
An abnormal T/E ratio triggers a second test to detect whether an athlete has used exogenous, or synthetic testosterone. The second test is known alternately as a carbon-isotope ratio test, or an IRMS test -- a reference to a mass spectrometer, the machine used to do the test.
Landis' "B" sample, or backup sample, was tested several days later. Both samples are said to have shown the presence of synthetic testosterone.
Landis was tested a total of eight times during the Tour. USADA requested permission to have the French lab test "B" samples associated with the seven "A" samples that had originally tested negative, or below the 4-1 T/E ratio. Landis fought the request, but in April, the arbitration panel ruled in a 2-1 vote that it could not block the testing.
The French sports newspaper L'Equipe subsequently reported that "several'' of the samples showed the presence of synthetic testosterone. Neither side has confirmed that result.
The USADA justified its unusual request for the "B" sample testing by saying that it could provide evidence of doping, even though the results cannot be considered official positives because they were not confirmed by the "A" sample. Consistent results also would bolster the USADA's contention that the French lab's methodology and machinery is sound.
The two arbitrators who voted to allow the "B" sample testing said they were inclined to admit the evidence but would reserve a final decision for the hearing.