Remember when back in 2006 U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis won the Tour de France, only to be stripped of the victory and banned from competing for two years after testing positive for synthetic testosterone?
Well, it seems that using forbidden substances to gain an advantage over the other athletes is not the only thing he did wrong. In a bid to demonstrate that the French Chatenay-Malabry laboratory – the laboratory that tested this fateful urine sample – made a mistake while analyzing it, he apparently commissioned a hacker to break into their computers and steal documents that would help his cause.
According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, Pierre Bordry, president of the French anti-doping agency, revealed some months after the 2006 Tour that the breaking in occurred, but it is only in May 2009 that Landis and his physician and coach Arnie Baker have been summoned to a French court to answer questions about it.
So far, there seems to be no direct evidence to link any of them to Kargas Consultants, the firm that paid one Alain Quiros to hack into the computers.
But, after the documents were stolen, they turned up in emails sent to anti-doping agencies and journalists around the world, and one of the recipients had the idea to do a history search on the file which revealed that the previous user was someone named “Arnie”. And afterwards, Arnie Baker used some of those documents in Power Point presentations and a book.
Also, Landis used some of these documents to try to beat the doping charges in an international appeal.
The Huffington Post reports that since Landis and Baker haven’t reported for a court summons in May and November 2009, the French prosecutor’s office has had no choice but to ask for a national arrest warrant for the two. But, despite the big headlines that claimed that the warrant was issued, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office says the warrant covers only French soil.