December 23, 2006

Taking A Fight Online [9:05 am]

Landis putting lab to the test - pdf

Experts for Tour de France champion Floyd Landis, tapping a worldwide pool of scientific knowledge via the Internet, are marshaling a detailed rebuttal to charges that the cyclist took testosterone to fuel his comeback victory in last summer’s race.

Landis’ team has posted online the laboratory reports on which the charge is based. This step, unprecedented in an anti-doping case, has allowed independent scientists to study the evidence against Landis — 370 pages of technical documentation.

The result is a vigorous debate on Internet message forums and bulletin boards about the science underlying the charge and whether Landis, successor to Lance Armstrong as America’s leading competitive cyclist, has been unjustly accused.

[...] Landis’ defense team calls its decision to publicize the evidence against him the “wiki defense,” referring to an online application allowing members of the public to collaborate on encyclopedias, dictionaries, computer programs and other services.

The idea is to counteract the advantages that anti-doping agencies have in bringing cases against athletes. [...]

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