Bonnie Ford of ESPN is reporting today that a memo, written by the commissioner of the three-man arbitration panel overseeing the Floyd Landis hearing, indicates that a decision will be rendered by the end of September.
Apparently the memo was sent by the commissioner to the lawyers representing both sides in the case. According to the report, the panel will meet for the last time on September 12th. The commissioner goes on to state in the memo that the panel will then officially close the hearing after that meeting. It is required that the panel issue their ruling within 10 days after the hearing officially closes.
You can read Bonnie Ford's story on ESPN.com.
I'm not going to even attempt to venture a guess as to how the panel will rule on Floyd. One would think that the overall length of deliberation (3 months) by the panel would bode well for Floyd, but reportedly there was a mountain of scientific evidence that was submitted by both sides. So, I think it would be reasonable to assume that it may have taken the panel 3 months just to sift through and make sense out of everything that was presented.
Whether Floyd is found guilty or innocent, I hope that the arbitration panel finds some way to make mention of the phenomenal ineptitude that was exhibited by the French laboratory (LNDD) who conducted the testing. The Lab's blatant disregard for chain of custody requirements alone should have voided any testing results in this case. What is the point of having certified labs if the labs don't follow any of the rules required for certification? In my opinion, LNDD should be publicly reprimanded and monetarily fined for their misconduct. If the panel rules in Floyd's favor, then I think it would only be fair for LNDD to pay for ALL of Floyd's legal expenses.