Prosecutor seeks 18 month suspended prison sentence for Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker
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Monday, October 24, 2011

Prosecutor seeks 18 month suspended prison sentence for Floyd Landis and Arnie Baker

by Shane Stokes at 1:45 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Duo suspected in hacking of French anti-doping agency computers

Floyd LandisDisqualified 2006 Tour de France victor and his former coach Arnie Baker should serve suspended 18 month prison sentences, according to the prosecutor in a case against the two.

The French state prosecutor today called for the Tribunel Correctionel criminal court in Nanterre, close to Paris, to hand the duo the year and a half sentence over the part he says they played in the hacking of the French national anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) five years ago.

Although another individual is believed to have carried out the hacking, Landis and Baker were said to have utilised the information as part of the rider’s defence against the two year ban and Tour de France disqualification which were handed down after he tested positive for testosterone.

According to AFP, the French prosecutor says that the duo were fully aware that the documents had been stolen. They were used as part of Landis’ attempt to prove that the LNDD botched the analysis of his samples, thus rendering his test results inadmissible.

This effort was unsuccessful, and the rider was handed a two year ban. He continued to deny ever having doped, but last year he finally admitted using banned substances for much of his pro career. He also accused former team leader Lance Armstrong, US Postal Service general manager Johan Bruyneel and several team-mates of either using or enticing others to take EPO and other products.

These claims are currently part of an ongoing investigation by federal agents and others.

Landis cracked dramatically while leading the 2006 Tour, losing over eight minutes to Carlos Sastre (CSC) and Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d’Epargne). The latter took over the yellow jersey. However Landis fought back the following day with an audacious early move which remained clear all the way to the finish, despite a frenzied chase behind. He crossed the line in Morzine five minutes 42 seconds ahead of Sastre, who was the best of the GC challengers. He gained seven minutes and eight seconds over Pereiro, moving close enough to be able to recapture the jersey in the final time trial.

His triumph didn’t last long; four days after his triumphant ride into Paris, it was announced that he had tested positive for testosterone. This set off a lengthy fight to try to clear his name, with Landis and Baker using documents with surprising insight into the inner workings of the LNDD.

Landis recently denied involvement in the hacking, saying that he was not tech savvy and the claims were false. However it appears that Baker is accused of having asked the consulting firm Kargus Consultants to break into the computer systems and to gain access to private documents.

Also on trial are the hacker Alain Quiros, the alleged intermediary Jean-Francois Dominguez, a former paratrooper, and Thierry Lorho, who used to be an agent with the spy agency DGSE.

The trial will continue tomorrow.

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