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Landis in limbo after closing arguments wrap up

other Updated: May 24, 2007 13:04 IST

AFP
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Floyd Landis' fate is now in the hands of three arbitration panelists after the closing arguments wrapped up in what has already become the longest anti-doping hearing in US history.

The panel is expected to take up to six or seven weeks to render a decision in the case of embattled American cycling hero Landis, trying to keep his 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone.

"When the facts aren't on your side, you accuse people," US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) lawyer Richard Young said in the final rebuttal of the hearing at Pepperdine University.

"The science is solid. Landis had exogenous testosterone in his 17th stage sample and he cheated the rules of cycling and got caught."

Much of the remainder of the arbitration case will include transcribing the testimony of more than two dozen witnesses over nine days.

Legal teams for both sides sparred during their final comments to the panel Wednesday with Young trying to show that some of Landis' questionable conduct since he tested positive were the acts of a desperate and guilty man.

Young got in the last word, saying the Paris laboratory technicians who processed Landis' urine samples from the Tour de France are not "evil geniuses" but rather dedicated professionals that take pride in their work.

Landis' lawyers weren't going to be outdone. His legal team attempted to poke holes in the credibility of the employees and the methods used to process the urine samples by the French drug testing lab.

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