News24

Landis gets suspended jail term

2011-11-10 16:19

Paris - A French court convicted American cyclist Floyd Landis in absentia on Thursday for his role in hacking into the computers of a French doping lab.

Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence by the court in Nanterre, west of Paris. That was six months less than a state prosecutor had sought.

The WADA-accredited lab in the town of Chatenay-Malabry south of Paris uncovered unusually high testosterone levels in Landis's samples from the 2006 Tour.

Prosecutors argued that Landis and coach Arnie Baker masterminded a plot to hack into the lab's computer system to obtain documents as part of an effort to defend the cyclist's name.

Baker was handed the same sentence. The duo, along with others involved, will have to pay a total of €75 000 ($101,891.099) in damages to the Chatenay-Malabry lab.

They were among five defendants on trial following a sweeping French probe into alleged hacking based on claims by the Chatenay-Malabry lab over intrusions into its computers.

Landis, in an email to The Associated Press after the trial opened last month, wrote that he had no information about the case except through the press, and was never summoned or contacted by the court, despite its claims to the contrary. He denied any connection to hacking.

The case centered on alleged use of a Trojan horse spy program in late 2006 to poke into the lab's computers to extract information about Landis' file, months after he tested positive for doping.

SAPA