and Mass Spectrometry

Upcoming Speakers

"The Floyd Landis Sports Doping Case as Evaluated by a Forensic Analytical Chemist"

presented by

Robert D. Blackledge

July 19, 2007

W.M. Keck Amphitheater, The Scripps Research Institute


Robert (Bob) D. Blackledge received his BS (chem.) from The Citadel in 1960 and his MS (chem.) from the University of Georgia in 1962. Starting with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement?s Tallahassee Crime Lab in 1971, Bob worked in forensic science for over thirty years. Stops along the way included eleven years with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory-Europe, back during the Cold War when we had a crime lab in Frankfurt, Germany. Bob?s final stint was as the Senior Chemist with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Regional Forensic Laboratory-San Diego from 1989 to 2006. The author or co-author of roughly forty journal articles and book chapters, his interests are wide-ranging but his special passion is trace evidence. Reports of his research have been published in the FBI?s Law Enforcement Bulletin, the FBI?s Crime Laboratory Digest, the Journal of Forensic Sciences, Science & Justice, Forensic Science International, Forensic Science Review, Microgram Journal, and Analytica Chimica Acta. He is the editor for, ?Forensic Analysis on the Cutting Edge: New Methods for Trace Evidence Analysis?, scheduled for publication by Wiley-Interscience on 03 Aug. 2007.


Floyd Landis, a professional bicycle racer from Murrieta, California, won the 2006 Tour de France. However, not many days after the race?s conclusion, the Laboratoire National de D?pistage du Dopage (LNDD) ?announced? (actually the information was leaked to the press) that a urine sample obtained from Floyd after stage 17 had been found to be positive for a form of synthetic testosterone. If this finding were to be upheld, Landis would be stripped of his title and also banned from participation in the sport. Landis denied any sports doping and his strategy in fighting these charges has been to try to generate public support and to make all of the documentation of the LNDD tests available to the public. GC/MS is used by LNDD for preliminary sample screening, and carbon stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry is used for final confirmation. From the standpoint of a forensic analytical chemist with experience in forensic laboratory accreditation standards, this presentation will examine the analytical data and correspondence from the Landis case in terms of: chain of custody requirements; World Anti-Doping Association (WADA) guidelines and LNDD SOP; and reasonable standards of good laboratory practice.

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