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Landis failed a test during the 17th stage of the race, during which he made a significant comeback to jump from 11th place to third place, regaining the lead two days later. Landis' test was above the allowable 4:1 ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone; normal ratios are 1:1.
The World Anti-Doping Agency considers testosterone a steroid, and its use is punishable by a two-year ban. Phonak -- Landis' team -- says if the pending results of the race winner's backup sample confirm the unusually high testosterone levels, Landis will be fired. He has been suspended until test results are in.
Critics of conventional medicine say the American cyclist's alleged doping scandal is a reflection of a larger trend in America: using "magic bullet" pharmaceuticals in hopes of achieving shortcut biochemical results. Critics say Americans all too often turn to drugs to achieve short-term results -- including the "management" of depression and cholesterol -- rather than addressing the underlying causes of the disease, which are frequently related to poor dietary and lifestyle choices.
"The actions of Landis sadly reflect a disturbing trend in American culture," explained consumer health advocate Mike Adams, a frequent critic of conventional medicine. "People are increasingly turning to magic-bullet drugs in a misguided attempt to cheat the laws of biochemistry. While short-term results may seem encouraging, the long-term use of these synthetic chemicals ultimately harms patients... and sports careers."
Adams urges people to stop searching for quick fixes to health or physical performance and start getting serious about living healthful lifestyles based on daily exercise, nutritional supplements, wise dietary choices and the avoidance of synthetic chemicals in foods, drugs and personal care products. "People who rely on pharmaceuticals to mask biochemical symptoms will someday see their health crash faster than Landis's career."