Just when we thought Floyd Landis could go hole up in his Unabomber-like shed behind a car wash in some desolate Southern California mountain town, it comes out today that he’s a wanted man. Unfortunately for Floyd, the summons isn’t from an international racing team like Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack or Alberto Contador’s Team Astana.
No, this time a French judge has issued an international arrest warrant for the disgraced 2006 Tour de France champ and Lancaster County, Pa. native. According to the reports, judge Thomas Cassuto wants to question Landis about a supposed computer-hacking incident at the French Chatenay-Malabry laboratory. That was the lab that reportedly committed more than 200 procedural and protocol errors when testing Landis’ positive sample in 2006.
Since Landis’ two-year ban, the lab is no longer used by the cycling union (UCI) and a possible reduction in grant money from the French government puts the lab’s future in doubt.
So maybe with extinction hanging over its head, the brass at the lab decided to go after one of the biggest pariahs in the history of sports? Or maybe there’s something to it? After all, nearly a year ago the French newspaper L'Express reported information that had been obtained from the alleged computer hacking was sent to a Canadian lab from a computer registered to Landis’ coach, Arnie Baker. A subsequent report by The New York Times showed, “No evidence has surfaced to connect Mr. Landis or Dr. Baker to the hacking, and each has denied any involvement.”
But when French judges (or any judge, for that matter) makes up his mind that something needs to happen, well by golly, something happens. Who cares how trumped up the charges might be or if the judge is even allowed to issue an international arrest warrant because when it comes out to be all BS, it isn’t the judge or the lab that has to deal with the fallout. It’s Floyd.
Man, they must really hate it when Americans win that bike race.
Meanwhile, it’s kind of interesting that Landis has become to the French what Charles Barkley is to Milwaukee. You know how it always seemed as if the Milwaukee police were sitting at the airport waiting for Sir Chuck to show up so they could slap the cuffs on him and take him downtown for brawling in a city bar. However, when some dude was living in the center of the town and near a large university where he holed up in an apartment and killed and ate people, well, they had no idea how to get that guy.
So some wacky French judge can issue an International arrest warrant for Floyd Landis for alleged computer hacking a drug lab that lied about and railroaded him, but when it comes to handing over murderers like Ira Einhorn or an alleged pedophile/rapist like Roman Polanski, or even drumming up support for convicted cop killer, Mumia Abu-Jamal, well, the French will stand up for them.
A guy who revealed the incompetence and hypocrisy of the French-supported drug lab, well, throw the book at that guy.
How dare he point out their crappy practices.
Since there is an international arrest warrant out for Landis, we have to ask…
Is there a reward? Will there be “Wanted” posters hanging up at the post office? If so, I’m thinking about putting together a posse to take him down and turn him in. He shouldn’t be too hard to find riding his bike up in the mountains… he’s quick though.
We might need to set up an ambush.
Post-script: after the writing of this, France's anti-doping chief Pierre Bordry had mistakenly described the arrest warrant as international. The warrant is only applicable on French soil, but it is possible in such cases to issue an international warrant at a later date if needed. I say we still go after him. Posse coming together.
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