For a change, maybe yes. While most of the press
seems intent on convicting Landis of doping before he has had a chance to argue his case, the Houston Chronicle
looks to have done the service of actually reporting some new information. If it’s true, the anti-Landis press is being grossly irresponsible and those of us who would rather believe Landis wasn’t doping have some cause for hope yet. Here are the two critical excerpts:
Landis reportedly tested negative eight times during the course of the three-week race, including the day he reclaimed the yellow jersey on L'Alpe-d'Huez. That was 48 hours before his four-hour attack over five Alpine climbs that won him the 17th stage, after which he tested positive for the only time. He also tested negative two days later, when he reclaimed the yellow jersey after a time trial.
It's not believed possible that a significant infusion of artificial testosterone could have cleared out of Landis' endocrine system in just two days. Also, a majority of doctors who study testosterone tend to either seriously question its effectiveness as a performance booster or contend it must be administered in regulated doses over a period of time to have meaningful impact on an athlete's prowess.
"Most of us (experts) have a hard time fully understanding that sudden and dramatic effect (Landis seemingly experienced on July 20)," Wadler said, noting that he was speaking only for himself and not on behalf of WADA. "I can't quite put it all together."
Chao conceded he had no medical theories to offer as to why Landis' testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio could have suddenly gotten so badly out of whack. Landis' came in at 11-to-1, whereas normal is 1-to-1 and up to 4-to-1 is considered acceptable under the anti-doping statutes. In Landis' case, his testosterone measurement wasn't outrageously high, but his epitestosterone had dropped precipitously, accounting for the abnormal numbers.