How much weight to put on testosterone testing for Floyd Landis?

This is an interesting read.

Art DeVany has a nice discussion on the testosterone testing issues involving Floyd Landis, the Tour de France winner.

UPDATE: Landis failed the backup test, but the points raised by DeVany are even more important to read now. If Art is correct, the statements about Landis can only be viewed as a very cruel mistake.

UPDATE 2: Here is another take from the WSJ:
One evening nearly two decades ago, four Swedish men in their mid-thirties gathered to quaff about 10 alcoholic drinks over six hours. Two weeks ago, American cyclist Floyd Landis says he drank two beers and "at least" four shots of whiskey after the worst day of his professional career.

Besides a taste for the bottle, these five men have something in common: The day after drinking, their urine showed an elevated "T/E ratio" of testosterone to epitestosterone, hormones that occur naturally in the body.

For Mr. Landis, the test result was bad news: It may cost him the Tour de France title, as the elevated ratio is indicative of the use of banned performance-enhancing substances that raise testosterone levels. On the other hand, that Swedish night on the town -- part of a body of research on alcohol's effect on testosterone levels -- might help him clear his name.

Testosterone and epitestosterone generally are in balance in the body, but some athletes inject steroids or other substances to artificially raise their testosterone levels, which can help long-term muscle building. (Though it generally takes more than a single day for any muscle-building effect to appear.) The day after his drunken night, Mr. Landis's T/E ratio was found to be 11-to-1, well above the 4-to-1 limit set by international cycling. But athletes' testosterone levels vary widely; for example, a test1 of saliva in Canadian university students this year found an eight-fold range of the hormone. If Mr. Landis's T/E ratio is normally toward the high end, a night of drinking could have raised it dramatically, putting him above cycling's limit. . . .



Blogger saturdaynightspecial said...

Why would a competitor take illegal drugs knowing he will be tested everyday - is he that irresponsible ?

When any person has drug tests, the sample must be anonymous to the testing facility. If the samples are for legal matters then two samples must be sent to two different labs. The results must be forwarded to a generic location.

If this procedure isn't followed it is too easy for bias to enter the tests.

When and where you eat must be kept secret and the locations made random even to the athlete. Example: "where to eat"...flip a coin.

In the case of Landis I see two problems: he admits to consuming alcohol !! What kind of athlete is that ? (two) the tests were done in Europe (too much room for foul play.)

8/05/2006 1:57 PM  
Anonymous Ken said...

"In the case of Landis I see two problems: he admits to consuming alcohol !! What kind of athlete is that ? (two) the tests were done in Europe (too much room for foul play.)"

While I totally agree with your second point, I have a few comments regarding the first: Paul Haber, Micky Mantle, Roger Maris, Babe Ruth, ...

8/05/2006 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a dreadfully sad turn of events.

If true, then damn him for bringing such disgrace to himself, his family, and the USA.

If false, the international cycling federation (or whatever it's called) needs to be shamed for its incompetence.

Why did Floyd not *immediately* have duplicate tests run with an independent lab, so he could throw contrary results into the ring to prove his innocence?

I'm really starting to doubt this man's integrity...

8/07/2006 4:29 PM  

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