While the US government demands that British citizens are dragged into one of their kangaroo courts to face 60 year sentences, it seems that it’s less than reluctant to hand over one of its own hackers over to a more sensible French court.
American cyclist Floyd Landis apparently had a go at cracking the computers of the anti-doping lab that caught him cheating during 2006 Tour de France.
He was charged but a court in Nanterre, west of Paris, heard how Landis and his former coach Arnie Baker refused to show up in court to face the music. More to the point, they were helped by the US government which refused to co-operate against American hackers.
Apparently if Landis was a British hacker who was looking for UFOs or an Australian who published secret tapes of American helicopter pilots laughing as they gun down Reuters journalists, they would be there with hobnail boots and will bring their own waterboards.
However the authorities appear reluctant to hand over US sporting heroes when they do the same sort of thing.
The French had enough evidence to convict Landis and Baker after a Trojan horse spy program was used in late 2006 to poke into the lab’s computers to extract information about Landis’ file, months after he tested positive. Landis has since admitted that he took drugs during his career.
Police said that they were unable to turn up who ordered the hacking, thanks to the US authorities sitting on their hands.
Information gained in the hack was used in an unsuccessful appeal to sports authorities. It was supposed to show that he was clean and that the lab work was faulty.
In its ruling, the court said Landis’ role “was limited to the knowledge that he had about the fraudulent origin” of the lab information that he and his defence team used.
The court said that Landis knew that these lab results were accurate, because he would admit four years later that he had been involved in doping since 2002.
Landis has said nothing about the trial, but Baker insisted “the charges were not true.”
“I had nothing to do with any hacking and as far as I knew, the lab documents I received while serving as an expert consultant to the legal team for Floyd Landis were obtained legally,” Baker told AP.
He claims it is all part of a plot to protect the lab, which is a national French institution.
Anyway they were both given a year’s suspended sentences so there is probably nothing to worry about unless they ever commit another crime in France again.