The headlines in Tuesday?s L’Equipe newspaper says it all: ?Piratage a Chatenay-Malabry?. ‘Pirates’ have been in action at the Paris Chatenay-Malabry anti-doping lab that tests riders’ urine and blood samples from the Tour de France.

According to L’Equipe, a campaign has been mounted to discredit the lab that found Floyd Landis positive in July and that carried out the research work that found signs of EPO in urine samples from Lance Armstrong taken in 1999.

The French newspaper reveals that a fake letter criticising the lab?s accuracy and results was created using sections from the lab?s internal documents. It has been sent to the International Olympic Committee, World Anti-Doping Agency, the Union Cycliste Internationale and several media in a smear campaign against the lab. They believe the letter was not written by a French native because of spelling and grammatical mistakes and reveal that the author?s name on the letter is fake. Specialist information technology police have been called in to investigate, with suspects already identified.

L’Equipe point the finger at Landis? entourage and in particularly his coach and confidant Dr Arnie Baker, who is in charge of the website that is leading the campaign to clear the American.

L’Equipe did not speak to Landis about the attack on the lab but Dr Baker seems determined to continue his fight to clear the name of his friend. An announcement on Landis? website says on November 17 he will hold an updated presentation of the documents that aim to prove that the Paris lab has made mistakes while handling Landis? case. The original defence presentation was posted on Floyd Landis? website (www.floydlandis.com).

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