USADA's attorney, during the hearing, got Landis to mention that Phonak's internal hematocrit limit was 47%.
THe article mentioned 48% after the 1st rest day and 44 before start.
The pertinent quote from the article:
For months, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency asked Landis to release results from blood screens that the UCI, cycling's international governing body, periodically performs on professional riders. Landis kept saying he didn't have them.
The issue came to a head during his testimony at the May arbitration hearing, when USADA attorneys produced e-mails from UCI officials indicating they had long since sent the blood data to Landis. The next day, the Landis camp handed over a spreadsheet of eight blood screens from 2005 and 2006.
USADA said it received them too late to incorporate in its prosecution, but the data was entered into evidence nonetheless and, as such, became available to the public. The Union-Tribune obtained a copy last month from the arbitration panel.
The blood screens aren't considered a formal doping test and can't produce positive results. Instead the UCI uses them as health checks, issuing a 15-day suspension for male riders with hematocrit levels, which measure red blood cells, over 50 percent and hemoglobin concentrations above 17 grams per deciliter of blood.
Landis has no readings above the 50 and 17 thresholds, but an internationally respected blood doping expert from Australia did find unusual patterns after reviewing a copy of Landis' results, particularly when their corresponding dates are taken into consideration.
In a pre-Tour blood screen from June 29, two days before the 2006 race began, Landis had a hematocrit level of 44.8 percent and hemoglobin level of 15.5. On July 11, 10 stages into the Tour, his hematocrit had increased to 48.2 and his hemoglobin to 16.1.
This caught the attention of Michael Ashenden, project coordinator for an Australian research consortium called Science and Industry Against Blood Doping, because the body's concentration of red blood cells naturally decreases during an exhausting competition such as the Tour de France.
“Going from 15.5 to 16.1 (in hemoglobin) is not that unusual when not competing,” Ashenden said by phone from Australia. “But it is very unusual to see an increase after a hard week of cycling. You'd expect it to be the reverse. You'd expect that to fall in a clean athlete. An increase like this in the midst of the Tour de France would be highly, highly unlikely.
“There's nothing where I could point to one value and say, 'This guy definitely doped.' But it raises red flags for me. I would definitely recommend to anti-doping authorities that an athlete presenting these values should be target-tested for blood doping.”
One explanation is that readings can fluctuate depending on the machinery or other variables.
“It's hard to compare them,” says Jacobs, Landis' attorney who has handled blood doping cases with other athletes, “because you can get different readings depending on the machines that were used. You can't draw any conclusions unless you look at all the calibration data. That's why they are health checks and not anti-doping tests.”
The more cynical explanation is that the July 11 test came the morning after the 2006 Tour's first rest day, and actual doping diaries seized in last year's Operation Puerto investigation in Spain indicate rest days are the preferred time for reinfusion of blood bags during the Tour.