CRITICAL LANDIS STAGE 17 EVIDENCE ERASED FROM HARD DRIVE AT LNDD, ORIGINAL DATA DESTROYED
Landis Examines Legal Options, Including Appeal to Department of Justice
New York / Paris., April 29, 2007 â€“ Simon Davis, technical director of Mass Spec Solutions and expert consultant to Floyd Landis, today reported that critical evidence stored as electronic data files (EDFs) had been erased from the hard drive and the original data destroyed at the Laboratoire National de Dépistage du Dopage (LNDD). The existing data bears indication of alteration.
The EDFs are electronically preserved records of the Isotope Ratio Mass Spectometry (IRMS) tests conducted on Landis’ Stage 17 samples. Davis was at the LNDD last Thursday along with representatives from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to witness the extraction of the data files by an independent expert tasked with retrieving and analyzing the EDFs.
Originally run by the LNDD on outdated OS2 software, the Landis defense team had first requested access to the original EDFs last December in order to process them on more modern and accurate software.
Prior to the arrival of Davis and the independent expert on April 26, the LNDD, under the authority of USADA, extracted the EDFs from the machinery. The LNDD took the following steps in the absence of oversight by the independent expert or Davis:
- The hard drive from the Isoprime OS2 machine had been “wiped” by the LNDD and all of the original files destroyed, thereby providing no way to verify the authenticity of the EDFs from Landis’ Stage 17 analysis.
- Relevant files for Landis’ Stage 17 sample analysis had been opened and re-saved by the LNDD, corrupting the integrity of the files’ time stamp authentication and exposing the files to potential tampering. The data concerning the Stage 17 “A” samples were re-saved on 1/30/2007. Landis’ “B” sample data bore a time stamp of 4/26/07, 9:51 a.m. CET, prior to the scheduled arrival of the independent expert and Davis later that day.
- The altered EDFs from the Isoprime OS2 hard drive had been removed by the LNDD and transferred to a CD-ROM.
- Other critical data from Stage 17 were missing from the files copied to disk.
“Protecting and assuring electronic files are required by every certifying laboratory authority, as the International Standards of Laboratories clearly define,” said Arnie Baker, M.D., scientific advisor to Landis’ defense team. “With the erasure of original evidence contained on the hard drive, the lab simply cannot document its findings.”
In light of recent events at the LNDD, including the exclusion of Landis’ experts during the recent re-testing of previously cleared samples and the destruction of critical computer files, Floyd Landis is considering an appeal to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate the use of Federal funds in the adjudication of his anti-doping proceedings.
“Since the Federal Government is funding this and other proceedings at USADA, it makes sense for them to be responsible for it,” Landis said. “Over the past few months, we have learned of disturbing facts regarding the protection and production of key evidence in my case and I hope to call on the DOJ to investigate the handling of this matter. I have every confidence that they can determine if any misuse of federal funds and any resulting criminal activity has taken place on the part of USADA in my case.”
“I find it highly suspicious that of all the files on the LNDD computer equipment, only the data relating to my alleged positive shows signs of potential tampering,” Landis added. “It is my impression that USADA’s goal is securing a conviction by any means available whereas the DOJ will be more determined to arrive at the truth.”
Landis is also examining a request for the Justice Department to review whether USADA has violated criminal statutes in using Federal funds in relation to the conduct that has occurred in this case. “Make no mistake about it; I support tough anti-doping measures, enforcement and education. But, if the Federal Government is going to fund the adjudication of anti-doping actions, then the defendants in those cases should be afforded the due process protections of anyone accused of a crime in America. No more and certainly no less,” Landis said.
“Under the USADA process, I have repeatedly been denied critical evidence, I have been denied the opportunity to depose critical witnesses and I have been denied a jury of my peers. Everything they have done, including this continued denial of discovery, the retesting of already cleared samples and the subsequent leak of scientifically unsupported results to L’Equipe, simply reconfirms every contention that my team and I have been making about USADA’s â€˜win at all costs’ mentality. Their behavior is nothing short of criminal.”