Cyclist Landis Points to 'Broken' Testing System
RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
NPR's Tom Goldman has been covering the hearing and joins us now. And Tom, Floyd Landis asked for an open hearing. He got one. Why does he do that?
TOM GOLDMAN: You know, he has been extremely forthright about his innocence since testing positive of the 2006 tour, and he's posted hundreds of documents online that he says proved his innocence. Floyd Landis has spoken publicly all over the country and an open hearing is, you know, just another way for him to say I've got nothing to hide. I want the world to see that I'm right and the people prosecuting the case, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, are wrong.
MONTAGNE: So Tom, have there been any revelations so far during this hearing?
GOLDMAN: But a translator at the hearing kept making mistakes so they had to look for a second translator. Then they found that person, she ended up doing quite well. But the constant translation slowed the hearing to a crawl so much so that Landis' lawyers never got a chance to cross-examine this lab worker. That will happen today. It's expected there will be livelier give and take as the Landis side challenges the procedures of the lab.
MONTAGNE: And what has been Floyd Landis' reaction?
GOLDMAN: He is scheduled to testify at some point during the 10-day hearing. That should liven things up. Because up to now, Renee, it's been a lot of very intricate science, very important to the case but it's pretty mind numbing to a lot of the people in the gallery.
MONTAGNE: So will the arbitrators decide Landis' fate at the end of this hearing?
GOLDMAN: Not immediately. It will be another three weeks to a month after the arbitration hearing ends before there is a decision, then either side can appeal. There's a possibility, then, that when this summer's Tour de France begins, we still won't know who the real winner of last year's race was. Landis won, but if he loses his case, he'll be the first ever champion stripped of the title because of doping.
MONTAGNE: Tom, thanks very much.
GOLDMAN: You're welcome.
MONTAGNE: NPR sports correspondent Tom Goldman.
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