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Floyd Landis timeline

A timeline of events involving Floyd Landis, from his 2006 Tour de France win to the events leading up to his arbitration hearing with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

2006
June 30: Tour de France team directors, under pressure from race organizers, suspend favorites Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso and seven other riders on the eve of the Tour because their names figure prominently in documents released by Spanish authorities in the ongoing "Operacion Puerto" doping investigation. Another contender, Alexandre Vinokourov, is forced off the starting line, even though he is not implicated in the scandal, because his team is too short-handed. The new competitive equation strengthens Phonak team leader Floyd Landis' bid to reach the podium.

July 10: During an off-day, Landis announces he will undergo hip surgery after the Tour to alleviate chronic pain triggered by deterioration of the joint, which he fractured in a 2003 training accident.

July 14: Landis takes the overall race lead for the first time without winning a stage. He relinquishes the yellow jersey two days later in a strategic move, then retakes it three days later.

July 19: A disastrous collapse in a climbing stage in the Alps costs Landis the yellow jersey. He trails leader Oscar Pereiro of Spain by more than eight minutes, a seemingly insurmountable deficit.

July 20: Landis and his Phonak team launch a surprise attack on the first of several climbs in a brutally hot, demanding Stage 17 in the Alps. He catches the early breakaway group and rides off solo, steadily gaining on the peloton, which fails to chase until too late. Landis' fist-pumping finish in Morzine puts him back into contention, 30 seconds shy of Pereiro.

July 22: Landis overtakes Pereiro in the time trial and seals his Tour victory. The next day, he becomes the third American rider to lift the race trophy on the Champs-Élysées.

July 27: The UCI, cycling's governing body, announces that an unidentified Tour de France rider has tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance. Speculation centers on Landis after he abruptly withdraws from a race in the Netherlands. Phonak confirms later that day that Landis' 'A' sample tested positive for abnormal testosterone levels.

July 27: Later that day, Landis strongly denies doping in a teleconference with U.S. reporters. During the following days, his advisers suggest various explanations for his elevated testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio, including alcohol consumption and a prescribed thyroid medication. He retains attorney Howard Jacobs, who has defended several high-profile athletes against doping charges.

July 31: An anonymous source tells The New York Times that Landis' urine sample showed the presence of synthetic testosterone.

Aug. 5: Landis' "B" sample confirms the "A" result. Phonak fires him. Tour de France officials declare they no longer consider him the race champion, although Landis can't be officially stripped of his title until his hearing process is complete.

Aug. 15: Phonak owner Andy Rihs announces he is folding the team, which was plagued by numerous doping offenses during its short existence.

September: Landis formally requests that his arbitration hearing to contest the doping charges be open to the public, a first for an accused athlete, following the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's denial of Jacobs' motion to dismiss the case. ... Landis undergoes successful hip resurfacing surgery and begins rehab.

October: Hundreds of pages of technical documents and legal correspondences related to Landis' case, including a slide presentation assembled by his coach, Dr. Arnie Baker, are posted on his Web site. The "wiki defense" spurs a wide, continuing discussion on Internet message boards and blogs. Baker gives a talk in Tucson, Ariz., citing scientific and clerical errors in the testing in the first of what will eventually become a series of "town hall meetings" aimed at influencing public opinion and building a legal defense fund.

November: An unknown hacker sends e-mails purporting to come from the French lab, alleging numerous drug testing errors and sloppy procedures. Later, hard copies of letters outlining errors specific cases are mailed to reporters and some anti-doping authorities. The letters are labeled "whistle blower documents" by the Landis team. Neither side has offered firm evidence that the letters are authentic.

December: USADA requests permission to test Landis' seven "B" or backup urine samples from the Tour de France that were not originally tested because the corresponding "A" samples were negative. Landis fights the request, which is not made public for two months.

2007
January: WADA chief Dick Pound, discussing Landis' alleged testosterone levels with a New York Times Magazine writer, comments, "You'd think he'd be violating every virgin within 100 miles." Landis blasts the remarks at his fund-raisers ... Landis hires former Los Angeles deputy mayor Maurice Suh as co-counsel ... The French Anti-Doping Agency summons Landis for its own hearing, but later agrees to put its investigation on hold until after Landis' USADA appeal is completed ... Landis, fully recovered from his hip surgery, conducts a training camp for amateur cyclists in Southern California. He tells ESPN.com he does not expect to compete in 2007.

February: Landis announces a book deal with Simon & Schuster for "Positively False," to be published in June. Acting as a spokesman for the company that manufactures the device implanted in his hip, he makes public appearances at the Tour of California. ... Landis' defense team charges that the same two technicians at the French lab were involved in testing his "A" and "B" samples, a protocol violation that resulted in the dismissal of a case against another cyclist.

April: The arbitration panel rules in a 2-1 vote that Landis' leftover "B" samples can be tested at the French lab and possibly used as evidence in the case, although they cannot be considered official positives. ... In an anonymously sourced story, the French newspaper L'Equipe subsequently reports that several of those samples show the presence of synthetic testosterone. ... Landis' defense team contends its observers were not allowed proper access to the testing and analysis.

May: Landis' team charges that computer files related to the testing may have been altered or destroyed. ... French Anti-Doping Agency chief Pierre Bordry announces that the lab has asked for an independent audit.

May 14 - 23: The arbitration hearing is held at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, Calif. Landis' defense focuses on casting doubt on the credibility of the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory outside Paris where the test samples were processed. Landis' lawyers accuse technicians of failing to follow correct procedures and incorrect scientific interpretation of test results. USADA's lawyers bring in experts to support the test findings. The majority of evidence presented at the hearing is scientific in nature, but part of the hearing devolves into personal issues when three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond testifies that Landis had obliquely told him he was guilty in a phone conversation not long after the positive test was revealed. Landis denies the allegation, but fires business manager Will Geoghegan when it is revealed in open court that Geoghegan placed a threatening phone call to LeMond the night before LeMond was scheduled to testify.

Sept. 20 The abitration panel releases its ruling on Landis, voting 2-1 to uphold the results of the test results that showed Landis used synthetic testosterone in his 2006 Tour de France victory. Landis is left with one avenue -- an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Bonnie D. Ford is a frequent contributor to ESPN.com.