30 Jun 2008
CAS 2007/A/1394 Floyd Landis v. USADA
Presumption of compliance with applicable analysis and custodial procedures
Definition and construction of an International Standard for Laboratories Laboratory internal chain of custody
ISL data recording requirements
Beginning of the ineligibility period
1. Pursuant to the WADA Code, there is a presumption that laboratories which have been accredited for a particular test conduct sample analysis in accordance with international laboratory standards. An athlete may rebut this presumption by establishing by a “balance of probability” that a departure from the International Standard occurred. If the athlete shows such departure, the burden then shifts to the Anti-Doping Organization to establish that such departure did not cause the Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF).
2. The Panel must take the International Standard for Laboratories (ISL) as it is written and reasonably construed and not proceed by expanding or raising the ISL and then judging the performance of an accredited laboratory by that revised more stringent standard. This is clear from the definition of an international standard found within the ISL. Proving some other alternative standard and its breach is of no consequence in attempting to rebut the presumption favouring the laboratory.
3. The ISL requires laboratories to comply with “concepts” found in the WADA Technical Documents on chain of custody, not literal compliance with it. In addition, pursuant to the WADA Technical Document on chain of custody, testimony may be used to establish chain of custody.
4. ISL 126.96.36.199.1.4 and ISL 188.8.131.52 are intended to deter reworking of data sets once produced, rather than compel laboratory technicians to produce reams of documentation in the course of analysis. So long as it is clear from the final documentation package what parameters were set, this is sufficient to guarantee that the data was not manipulated in the course of manual integration for the purpose of reaching an AAF.
5. The date of a rider’s firing from his team cannot constitute the beginning of a period of voluntary acceptance of ineligibility if, after this date and before he files a “Declaration of Voluntary Non-Competition”, he engages in legal moves that show that he does not admit to the alleged doping offence.
In July 2006 the International Cycling Union (UCI) has reported an anti-doping rule violation against the cyclist Floyd Landis after his A and B samples tested positive for the prohibited substance testosterone with a T/E ratio above the WADA threshold. Consequently he was fired from the Phonak team on 5 August 2006.
All of the A Samples from Mr. Landis' other seven samples collected during the 2006 Tour de France were tested at LNDD on the GC/MS test and resulted in a negative finding. As a result, no further testing for the B Samples was conducted.
After Mr. Landis was notified of the result of his B Sample analysis, he filed pleadings before USADA‟s Anti-Doping Review Board to have the case dismissed. On 18 September 2006, the Anti-Doping Review Board rejected the Appellant‟s petition, and the arbitration proceedings before an American Arbitration Association (AAA) Panel began.
At USADA‟s request and over the Appellant‟s objections, the AAA Panel permitted LNDD to test the B Samples of the other seven samples collected during the Tour de France using the IRMS method. LNDD found that four of the additional seven B Samples tested positive for testosterone.
After extensive pre-hearing procedures involving the determination of many complex procedural applications and following a nine day hearing held in Malibu, California, from 14 May 2007 to 23 May 2007 the AAA Panel, by its majority Award dated 20 September 2007, concluded that the charge of exogenous testosterone found in the Sample had been established in accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations.
Accordingly, the AAA Award imposed on Mr. Landis the automatic disqualification of his results in the Tour de France of 2006 and a period of two years of ineligibility running from 30 January 2007, the date of the Appellant‟s declaration of voluntary non-competition.
The majority Award also concluded that the charge of an elevated T/E ratio (i.e. the ratio of Testosterone to Epitestosterone) from the Sample was not established in accordance with the WADA International Standard of Laboratories.
Hereafter in October 2007 Mr. Landis appealed the AAA award with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The CAS Panel finds in this case that:
(i) the LNDD is a WADA-accredited laboratory which benefits from the presumption that it conducted sample analysis in accordance with international laboratory standards;
(ii) the athlete has not rebutted this presumption by showing that a departure from the International Standard occurred.
In agreement with the AAA Panel, the CAS Panel concludes that a two-year ban shall be imposed on the Appellant and that the Appellant‟s declaration of non-competition of 30 January 2007 constitutes voluntary acceptance of ineligibility. Accordingly, the period of ineligibility of two years shall start on that date.
Therefore the Court of Arbitration for Sport decides on 30 June 2008:
1.) The appeal filed by Mr. Floyd Landis against the award dated 20 September 2007 rendered by the AAA Panel is dismissed.
2.) Mr. Floyd Landis is ineligible to compete in cycling races for a period of two years starting from January 30, 2007.
3.) The present award is rendered without costs with the exception of the Court office fee of CHF 500 paid by the Appellant and to be retained by the CAS.
4.) The Appellant shall pay the sum of USD 100,000 to the Respondent as a contribution towards its legal fees and expenses incurred in this arbitration.