Floyd Landis Confesses

What a difference four years makes. Had Floyd Landis woken up on July 28, 2006, and called a press conference to announce to the world all the things he detailed in his e-mail to USA Cycling’s Steve Johnson, we might have hailed him as a sort of fallen hero.

An Icarus of the pedals.

As fate would have it, Landis’ non-negative result for was synthetic testosterone, essentially the one drug he claims, now, not to have taken in 2006. So he believed what almost anyone else would have believed—that he could beat the rap.

He didn’t count on a few details. First, he didn’t count on the Machiavellian nature of USADA, which pursued the case with a ‘win at all cost’ mentality. As I wrote in my BKW post “At All Cost,” had this case been tried in the American judicial system, Landis would have won the case because the lab performing the work did such a lousy job. However, USADA’s zero-tolerance policy toward doping also happens to be a zero-loss policy as well, and clearly Landis didn’t understand that actual innocence didn’t matter.

He also didn’t count on the details of a phone conversation he had with Greg LeMond would become public. LeMond’s recounting of the conversation will seem entirely more believable for anyone who previously doubted his testimony. Four years hence, one wonders if Landis comes up with a different answer to the rhetorical question he put to LeMond when urged to confess. He asked, “What would it matter?”

While we don’t know the exact details of what Landis confessed to Johnson and the UCI, we have the substance in broad strokes.

1)    He did drugs, lots of them, beginning in 2002.

2)    Lance Armstrong did more drugs and told him who to work with.

3)    George Hincapie did all the same drugs.

4)    Former roommate David Zabriskie did drugs.

5)    Levi Leipheimer did drugs.

6)    He has no proof.

7)    Those closest to him didn’t know what he was up to.

8)    He confessed to his mom.

We should note that Landis has only implicated American riders. One wonders why he has implicated only Americans. Could his full and complete confession be leaving something out?

After four years of his strenuous denial and seven-figure defense that was, in part, paid for by fans who believed his innocent plea, for him to come out now and say, ‘Okay, now I’m telling the truth,’ credulity strains. UCI President Pat McQuaid said Landis’ statements were “scandalous and mischievous.”

Even if we believe everything his says lock-stock-and-barrel, in this case, his truth-telling comes a little late. As a means to restore respect and reputation, his confession is a failure. Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t listen. On this point, McQuaid has it wrong.

“These guys coming out now with things like this from the past is only damaging the sport,” McQuaid told The Associated Press. “If they’ve any love for the sport they wouldn’t do it.”

Come again? We don’t want dopers to confess? Please tell us you’re kidding.

I’ve heard from several sources that Landis has been drinking heavily, heavily enough to affect his fitness and relationships. It’s a tragic turn of events given what he has already experienced. It’s easy to connect the drinking with the events he says he is now confessing, the truth he needs to get off his chest. In 12-Step programs, you are directed to confess your wrongs, but there follows quickly one caveat: except when to do so would hurt others.

Which brings us to the meat of his confession. Most of what he has confessed involves others. To clear his conscience, he need only to confess his own deeds. Whatever motivation he has to tell what he says Armstrong, Hincapie, Leipheimer and Zabriskie have done, it isn’t his conscience; it sounds more like retribution—‘If my ship is going down, I’m taking yours with me.’

Backing this up is the fact that Landis pointed out the eight-year statute of limitations, which is due to run out on some of the alleged acts, as a motivating factor to come forward.

“Now we’ve come to the point where the statute of limitations on the things I know is going to run out or start to run out next month,” Landis said. “If I don’t say something now, then it’s pointless to ever say it.”

He wants cases opened into the acts of Armstrong, Hincapie, Leipheimer and Zabriskie while there’s still time, which means his confession is less about his acts than the acts of others. He wants to see others punished.

But he says he has no proof. Naturally, Armstrong, Hincapie, Leipheimer and Zabriskie will have to defend themselves and because Landis detailed them in e-mails, meaning they were written, not spoken, they rise from slander to libel. Because these are public figures, the odds are against any of them meeting with success in a court room following a civil suit.

Landis may have a tougher time defending himself than they do.

Federal investigator Jeff Novitzky, the man who headed the investigation into Victory Conte and the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO) is one of the investigators involved in checking out Landis’ claims.

One of the first questions Novitzky and other investigators will have for Lanids will be who his sources were. Where did he buy his stuff? His suppliers may have sales records. If they have sales records that can substantiate his claim that he was a customer, then it is also possible they would have sales records detailing their relationship with other clients, and it’s a safe bet that if it is true Landis was taking his cues from others, then he was probably shopping at the same market, so-to-speak.

Armstrong has pulled out of the Tour of California following what sounds like a minor crash. Cynics will probably surmise that it was a strategic decision to avoid media scrutiny.

And what of Landis’ actual confession? That is, what of what he claims he did? These would be new infractions worthy of their own case. While I have advocated a truth and reconciliation commission to encourage athletes to come forward and tell what they know, this case is ugly and really perverts the way you hope justice will work.

Should Landis get a slap on the wrist in exchange for his cooperation? Or should he get the proverbial book thrown at him yet again? It may be that he has already come to the conclusion that his return to the pro ranks won’t be what he had hoped and that he is ready to depart.

If that’s the case, then his confession is 200-proof revenge.

This case may well make it to a grand jury, which will be much more likely to result in actual justice than any action USADA takes. Getting at the real truth should be the goal, rather than just handing out punishment.

But what of Landis’ original case? He was within his right to defend himself and we should never forget that. However, his defense built a sham identity that wasn’t enough to escape conviction. Hopefully, that will be a sobering thought to the new generation of dopers, a la Bernard Kohl and Riccardo Ricco. However, Landis’ defense turned into the most costly prosecution ever for USADA. In mounting such an expansive defense he cheated not just those who contributed to the Floyd Fairness Fund, but all those of us who follow cycling and depend on the anti-doping authorities to uncover and prosecute doping. One wonders who escaped prosecution because USADA was mired in a more than year-long case with Landis.

I have often thought that there will come a day where we look back on the EPO era with different eyes. We should never condone doping, but there may come a point when we understand that during the time when EPO use was rampant, there were no heroes and very, very few villains, that these men were flawed, like all of us, and a product of their time.

Image: John Pierce, Photosport International

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46 comments

  1. Michael

    He also implicated Michael Barry, who at last check does not roll with a US Passport.

    Just a sad, sad turn of events.

  2. Dan O

    Man, you don’t what to believe. I’ve read Floyd’s book and thought he didn’t dope – he just got burned at the time – though nothing coming out of the pro ranks would suprise me. If so, he put up a hell of public front fighting the doping charges.

    Who knows what’s going on in Floyd’s head right now – some revenge for sure. If his life is starting to unravel, I feel bad for the guy. I’m curious to see what shakes out of all this.

    I’d agree the era of EPO itself is part of the cause. No excuses, but I’d bet there’s incredible pressure to dope just to keep earning a paycheck.

    All this also points to Greg LeMond being right – despite what some current pros have to say about him.

  3. Bex Beau

    It seems (according to Armstrong) that Floyd has been threatening these fellows for some time. Perhaps his court debts will be wiped by USA Cycling in exchange for the info. Hence, only American racers.

  4. Velomonkey

    Velomonkey is back – look, yea, lots you can say against “how” landis went about this. It was lacking class, that’s for certain. Does he want revenge? Are you kidding? How would you feel if you did the same thing everyone else did and you are living in log cabin behind a bowling alley. Let’s see any of us stomach that.

    When you back all else away and look at the discussion at hand – there are little to no surprises.

    LA didn’t crash to avoid the press, but he better plant his butt in a chair and take what’s coming.

  5. tarik

    Excellent post as usual. I can’t wait for the emails to leak (both the confessional ones and the ones he “communicated” his intentions to prior to this). I can’t wait for the truthiness book either. I also am eagerly awaiting the Tyler Hamilton bandwagon confession.

    I agree with you that Floyd did get screwed by the system even though he is guilty. This is the whole problem still with the doping fight. It is nontransparent, sloppy and possibly corrupt, with no adequate justice or feedback loop. The omerta is almost as strong in the way the doping controls and controlling bodies keep their system always winning. If this was a well run system the whole free floyd business never would have gotten off the ground.

    I suspect I would no longer want to sit around and toss back a few beers with floyd, but I do think he is probably telling more truth than lies. If he plays this right he could come out as well as Manzano and at least show that he is not an insane serial liar. He could be my new doping hero!
    My brief thoughts:
    http://tsaleh.blogspot.com/2010/05/floyd-landis-is.html

  6. Velomonkey

    I can’t lay claim to this, but it’s solid logic.

    Option A: Landis was telling the truth, never doped and now is lying about everything.

    Option B: Landis was doping (and so was lying) but he was the *only* one doping and all the rest of his confession/accusation is a lie.

    Option C: Landis was doping, all the others were doping as well and he is now telling the truth.

    Option D: Everything he is now saying except for the part about Armstrong, umm Hincapie, Leipheimer… and Zabriskie… oh, and Mattie White and Barry are lies. Just the part about the non-Americans is true… but wait… strike that — just the part about the non Americans *except* for Bruynel and White and Barry is true…..

    Now, do you really, really think he is the only one doping?


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Everyone: Thanks for your comments.

      As most media outlets have yet to name White and Barry among Landis’ allegations, I chose to leave them out of my post.

      As odd as it is that Landis has taken this approach, it is possible in 10 years or so we’ll be grateful to the guy for jumping in front of the train. That said, I’m deeply concerned that he is claiming that he was trying to negotiate some sort of amnesty for the four Americans named. Even if you believe all the other allegations he makes against Armstrong, Hincapie, Leipheimer and his ex-BFF Zabriskie, his claim that he had altruistic motives and was negotiating amnesty on their behalf is less believable than the plot of some Hollywood movies.

      If he’s going to make headway against the obvious charge that he’s crazier than Lindsay Lohan, he needs to talk truth by the bushel and if something seems stranger than an episode of Lost, then maybe he ought to leave it out for the time being.

  7. Randomactsofcycling

    “You don’t understand. I could’ve had class. I could have been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am.”

  8. travis

    It seems to me that if his confession yielded a thorough investigation then the BALCO investigator would inevitably come across the suppliers of Landis’ EPO etc. Which one would contend could/should lead to other convictions of athletes on the dope. It is unfortunate that he didn’t just come clean about his own transgressions and then give up his suppliers etc so that an unbiased investigation could be brought about. Now we have the taint of Landis’ relationships with the American riders fingered in his emails, and the hoopla in the press to negate any chance of good coming from this. On a side note, this is the stuff that irritates me about David Millar’s acceptance back into the peloton. I feel like if he was truly repentant he would have at least given up his sources for the EPO…(that and maybe he could have come forward without getting caught first)…just saying.

  9. chris

    Velomonkey – your logic is incorrect.

    1) Landis admits to systematic doping.
    2) An innocent person does not (ever, unless under torture) admit to a crime they did not commit
    3) He lied, therefore, because by his own admission he was protecting people

    That’s called a syllogism, and that’s where the beauty in Padraig’s posting gives us “flower”. Joe L did the same here:

    http://bicycling.com/blogs/boulderreport/

    Two lines to the same truth. The problem is: how far into the depths of human misery do you have to go? Padraig’s original posting pointed the way. The rest is yes, fact finding. But his poetic way is the truth: LET GO

  10. SinglespeedJarv

    “a product of their time”, yet there were those who were also a product of that time and chose to walk the other line.

    I think this is all revenge, he went down and now he’s taking the house with him. In many ways I hope he succeeds, it might just destroy pro-cycling as we know it.

    @travis Millar did give up his suppliers.

  11. Sophrosune

    I would like to see Landis provide details to authorities on whom he was buying from. He said he spent $90,000 a year on the stuff so presumably he wasn’t always taking handouts from LA. It would be at least one positive thing to come from this if those contacts led to more contacts and another big portion of the cycling doping syndicate could be compromised.

    It seems to me a bitter irony that the French lab probably did probably fudge their results to finally nail Landis, so in this case two wrongs may have led to a right. But at what a cost.

  12. Trev

    I can’t help but think what a little whiney baby Floyd is. If this was Mafioso he would have a bullet in his head by Monday……but I still am going to enjoy seeing Lance and the boys squirm. Did anyone really think these guys were really clean?

    Lance could have prevented all this and just cut Floyd a cheque…….

  13. Touriste-Routier

    Three things really struck a chord with me when this story first broke:

    a) Most of the articles & blogs that I read were reporting on others’ stories, but you had to read carefully to recognize this. Hardly anyone tried to verify what was being stated, and there were very few disclaimers; at best there was a link to the source, which at the time was vague and had yet to be authenticated. So this reeked of sensationalism not journalism.

    b) Unless I missed it, Landis failed to admit to the one thing for which he was convicted. Apart from Padraig’s article, I haven’t see any mention of this scenario, which to me is by far the most interesting part of this story. So, does Landis still maintain his innocence on this charge.

    c) If we accept the fact that the email messages were authentic, it shows a continuing lack of polish and class by Landis. It also is indicative that he was acting without legal or PR advice; as no one would let these things out in the way they were written, nor in the manner it was done.

    Since the cat is out of the bag and in full view of the public, all we can expect are the normal denials in the public space, meanwhile, if any of the accusations are true, there may be some scurrying behind the scenes to further bury any evidence or trail. Hence, even if Landis is telling the truth, I doubt little will become of it, other than the current media frenzy.

  14. Alex Torres

    It would have been cheaper for Lance to cut Floyd a check than paying UCI to hide his garbage under the carpet, that´s for sure. Which for me is THE most serious accusation he made and certainly the most potentialy damaging to the sport and the whole cycling structure.

    I can understand and accept repentance, but I´m with Padraig: timing is everything and Landis´ timing was ill. He fought so hard, but SO hard, to prove his innocence that now we have to deconstruct his old image and build a new one completelly opposed to that. That´s perhaps asking too much, considering how much he´s asked in the past!

    His being ostracized now and living a karmic hell personally is only to his own fault, since he had choices. As he does now. To me, regardless of the truthness of his words (and I should say I consider it to be 99% true and the other 1% confusion, but not lie), his story is one sad and depressing affair. I can´t accept his feeling a victm of the system. He knew – or should have known – that if he was caught, he would go down. HE should accept the consequences of his acts like an adult, yet now he feels like cleaning the world? Took this little fella 4 years to come to this? Try harder.

    So I can´t give him much credit for coming out clean now. He´s not throwing himself in the front of the train, he did that long ago and now he´s just desperate about his own poor choices and bitter about feeling like the guinea pig of the peloton. He´s throwing flames everywhere for not being allowed into AToC, his misfortune in life, and he´s hiding behind the same old sick, stupid cheater´s excuse. Like Amityskinnyguy said, will they ever grow up?

    In the end, I should pity him. He is just that incredibly talented Farmville boy cyclist, self-sabotaged by his own poor spirit and lack of intelligence, and a bit of bad luck too. That´s what usually happens when you have someone with an incredible talent and not much brain. Lance has both and that´s why he was never caught. I´m not one to support a world of dreams and hidden dirt, but at least he deserves credit for that. Landis has not only done more damage to the sport, he´s done damage to himself. He just put himself into the eye of the hurricane.

  15. MattyVT

    Padraig, I completely agree you about with Landis’ right to defend himself. As you say the American justice system would have acquitted Landis for the lab errors alone, and every accused man has the right to a defense to keep the prosecution from overreaching.

    I was a Floyd fan and I felt like his doping ordeal was retribution for all American victories in major cycling events since the 80′s. That all changed during the USADA trial when Floyd’s henchman Will Geoghegan placed some threatening phone calls to Greg LeMond. Landis’ autobiographical account of those events presents a very pro-Floyd revisionist view of history that is very different from the way it actually happened. One has to wonder if he was wearing those same beer goggles when he emailed Steve Johnson.

    I should have known before that, but I wanted to believe, and until that moment I still could. The revelations of this week only make me feel worse for Floyd and how bitter he’s become.

  16. Flahute

    Outstanding post, and I’m really not sure what I can add to the conversation … my own thoughts on the matter can be see in the following two posts from yesterday:

    1) http://www.flahute.com/2010/05/20/guess-im-just-another-sucker/

    2) http://www.flahute.com/2010/05/21/more-thoughts-on-floyds-allegations/

    I find the whole thing disheartening, which is why I’m so glad that I know riders like Burke Swindlehurst, whose deep-seated integrity means more than anything else.

  17. josh

    good read, as always. just a quick note that the two steps you are referring to are 8 & 9 (in most 12 step programs) and usually read something like:
    8. Made a list of all people we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
    9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

    in reality, i don’t this is what floyd is attempting to do since the actual step has to do with people you have harmed, not people you believe have harmed you (that whole bit gets dealt with in step 4, btw).

  18. mike hogan

    Everyone stop for a moment, recall how many ex postal-discovery riders have failed a drug test after they left postal-discovery for another team. Landis played the game right to the end deny, deny, deny, but now he is breaking the wall of silence and cycling community jumps on him. The UCI isn’t anymore interested in cleaning up pro cycling[its a business] than the World Wrestling Federation is in finding steroids.

  19. Touriste-Routier

    Mike, While there are a lot of obvious holes that need to be filled in in the process, to say that the UCI isn’t interested in cleaning up cycling, I believe is a big mischaracterization, and the analogy you use is unfair

    While both the WWF and Cycling are entertainment (all sports are), cycling is a real sport (recognized world governing body, affiliate national federations, amateur & professional competing in the same manner, etc.).

    The UCI’s motivations may be in part economic (doping = bad press, bad press = loss of sponsors = lost revenue), but if they didn’t want to do anything about it, they wouldn’t have adopted WADA guidelines, and wouldn’t do the testing that they do. After all, no testing = no negative results = no scandals, which is essentially the WWF model.

  20. MCH

    “..crazy like Lindsy Lohan..” made me chuckle. Unfortunately, the sad reality is that Floyd may have much more in common with Marco Pantani, Grahame Obree, and many other damaged individuals who’ve sought out professional sport in order to prove that they have “worth”. For Floyd’s sake, I hope he gets the help that he seems to need.

    BTW, damaged or not, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a kernal (or more) of truth somewhere in his story. I’m hopeful that the investigators will be able to get past the BS and uncover the truth.

    Final thought – I can’t help but think that Lance made a big mistake by coming out of retirement.

    Mike

  21. todd k

    Landis’s behavior since his failed drug test has always been willy nilly all over the place.

    The rhetoric of his confession does have a connotation of revenge by highlighting the behavior of others and stressing the timeliness based on a statute of limitations.

    It would not surprise me if, as Padraig suggests, the bottle is motivating a lot of his his bizarre logic. Ultimately, his behavior makes it easy for folks to devolve the conversation away from facts that may help pro cycling become increasingly clean and into dismissive discussions about credibility and motivations.

    There are still things to be learned from him, but the path and means by which he has chosen to follow have made it far more messy that it needed to be. Ultimately he still has a long way to go to get the type of atonement that will restore his mental health. What I do think Landis can contribute to USADA are the means, strategies and methods used.

    I think one thing this episode will show is that the naming of others at this point will be increasing unlikely unless some others take this opportunity to also confirm Landis’s story.

    That said, I do think, Padraig, that over time history will generally conclude that most cyclists with a history of success from the mid 90′s through 2010′s were under the influence of PED’s. Denials and “never failing a test” will be noted in the annals, but history will generally conclude that these were more due to a fault in the process, rather than a proof of innocence.

  22. jza

    Does Floyd have any credibility? Nope. Lance? None. Johaan? Absolutely not. Levi, DZ, Horner, Ullrich, Kloeden, Mayo, Vino, Hamilton, Heras, Basso, Millar etc etc etc. No none never not even a little bit.

    These guys are pro athletes, not Law and Order characters. This isn’t scripted drama, it’s shoveling sh!t in the barn. The barn’s not that big, but it can store a lot of sh!t.

    They were ALL on drugs, some better than others. Some made more money than others. If you follow cycling and believe any of them have been clean throughout their careers, YOU ARE AN IDIOT.

    The main issue is that basically EVERYBODY has paid a price for their drug use but one guy. This guy is intent on portraying himself as the chosen cancer fighting beacon of hard work can overcome anything.

    Before Lance, riders wanted to win races, make a decent living and put their heads down and have a good life. Lance turned it into a MF’ing morality play, he worked harder, trained smarter had better equipment BSBSBSBS, all to fight cancer. If you’re against him you love cancer and hate sick little kids and Grandma.

    There was a reason Indurain was quiet.

  23. Souleur

    Well, I knew coming into June, the perennial story would break about Dope. Walla, here it is. Perhaps more interesting this go around no doubt, but walla. And well written Padraig, as you always do.

    I actually held out for Landis and at least gave him the benefit of the doubt, but after this, he really dropped off the back of the pack in my opinion. I disagree w/MCR, Floyd is no Pantani. They may be disturbed, but Floyd is different in that outside of stage 17 he really never did much else. He is no Charly Gaul, he is no Obree. I would liken him more to his compatriot Hamilton, forgettable.

    Nonetheless, back to point, having children and being a father will actually bring one to an appreciation of this child like ‘justification’ that Landis employed. He lied, and lied, and lied. The first time, any father will tell the child to ‘tell the truth’…you have one shot at it, after this, you will not have another shot at it. Well, Landis blew it. He went to court, spent nearly a million bucks of others benevolence on his behalf, protested the court rulings, and NOW….in june of the upcoming Tour de France he ‘fully confesses’. Props on timing Floyd.

    I agree w/the observation Padraig, the timing, the anger, the names (fellow-countryman) are all motivations that reveal intent and outside of solid proof Floyd’s only motivation is…anger. And that is sad, because in the end, its gonna end up like the barking dog in the backdrop of a good nights sleep. Its bothersome, annoying, but it shuts up and gets no attention other than a lonely snore.

    I have lost all respect for the man.

  24. puck monkey

    Correct me if I’m wrong. No where in Floyd’s confession was there a apology. I was a fan, I bought his book. He forced Greg LeMond come out with things that never should have come out.
    Apologize, I’ll forgive you.

  25. SinglespeedJarv

    I hope he doesn’t end up in the gutter. No matter how much damage he has done to this sport, no-one deserves to end up like that and it’s not inconceivable that it might happen.

    Why not do it in the run up to the “only cycling event that matters” and in the middle of the Tour of Cali? You want people to take interest, you don’t make announcements like this in December. You want people to investigate properly, you give them leads/names.

    It may turn out that he is heading to the nut-house/gutter. Equally, he may well have a just done something very smart. It might not help him, but it may well help pro-cycling in the long-run.

  26. Alex

    Whatever is said about who´s right, who´s wrong, who´s telling the truth or hiding behind lies… The estabilished fact is that all this mud creates a sad, heavy climate that clouds a bit the shine of anything going on in the sport now and in the near future, including the grand tours and its winners.

    Sure the sport will get over all this and survive. Maybe sooner than I think, again whatever the outcome. And if pain is what it takes to create a better, cleaner and brighter cycling, then soooner than later I´d say!

    But unfortunatelly I must admit to myself that professional cycling, which I´ve long followed and admired, is today slightly smaller, sadder and poorer than it was yesterday! I feel somehow back to ´98


    1. Author
      Padraig

      RandomActs: One of the best uses of the best monologue from On the Waterfront. You’ve nailed the tragedy of his life poetically. Well done.

      Travis: I agree completely. I’m not really comfortable with Landis fingering other riders just to finger them. I think his confession is less about him than it is about them. And that brings me back to revenge.

      I agree that his sources should be the real focus of the investigation and it could prove very enlightening.

      And as SinglespeedJarv pointed out, Millar did give up his sources.

      Chris: Your logic is right-on. And thank you for the kind words. Also, I’m not sure how many know this, but Joe Lindsey and I worked side-by-side at Bicycle Guide back in the ‘90s. We had great fun working together. I miss those days; he’s a terrific guy.

      Sophrosune: I still have big problems for convicting anyone for something they didn’t actually do. That snare could just as easily catch the innocent. Either convict for the actual infraction or let the guy go.

      J: Adam is always good for a fresh perspective. I hope everyone gives that a read; he definitely has fresh eyes.

      Touriste Routier: Landis is holding firm to no synthetic testosterone use in 2006. I wonder if he’d tested positive for something he actually used if he would have handled things differently. As to how Landis is handling this and himself, he has always been rough-hewn.

      Alex: I think part of the ongoing confusion we sense from Floyd comes from the fact that—if we believe him—he was convicted of using something he didn’t actually use. On that point his defense just doesn’t surprise me. I just don’t think he ever read Machiavelli, and that would have done him and his defense a world of good.

      MattVT and Flahute: The more I think about this the more I come to the conclusion that Floyd’s behavior will never make any sense at all unless you accept his assertion that he took just about everything but synthetic testosterone. With that detail in place, his world gets very interesting.

      Josh: Thanks for adding that extra layer of detail. I didn’t want to get too far into it, but you explain it nicely.

      Mike Hogan: I think what the UCI wants is for cycling to appear clean from as many angles as possible. I think they’ve actually given up the fight and are working hard to avoid scandals, which is why McQuaid’s statements seem so very illogical.

      Touriste Routier: ibid. Sorry, but ibid.

      MCH: You bring up a very interesting point regarding Lance’s un-retirement.

      Todd K: Yes, I suspect someday the record books will feature a bunch of asterisks. So it goes.

      JZA: Um … well …

      Puck Monkey: Yes, an apology of any variety, to anyone—ANYONE—has been conspicuously absent. To make matters worse, he says he feels no guilt. That part I really didn’t like. If he didn’t feel guilty then, do you think he feels guilty now about throwing former teammates (and friends) under the bus?

      SinglespeedJarv: For Floyd to avoid ending up in the gutter he’s going to need a job, and I just don’t know where he will find one other than maybe Starbucks. I’m not saying that’s right or fair, just what life is in America.

      Alex: Yeah, this is worse than the Festina affair.

  27. David

    I wonder what “Dr” Arnie Baker has to say about all this? If I recall he was rather adamant about Landis’ power output in training vs. competition being totally above board.

    My wish is that people ask themselves (as Lemond did) can sustaining 400+ watts for an hour or more be humanly possible. Not with just youth, training and pasta it isn’t.

    Bravo Greg Lemond!

  28. todd k

    After reading through the emails posted thus far from the Armstrong camp, I now see Landis’s actions as carrying out an ultimatum more than simple revenge. (I’m not saying this is some how a noble cause. The cause is largely irrelevant. But since we are discussing such things….)

    Mafia 101: Omerta only has value provided one continues to believe they are part of the family and the family covers their obligations.

    Revenge would imply that Landis simply felt he was wronged and wanted to get even. To be sure I bet he feels that to large degrees from all sorts of angles. However, his actions in this case seemed more driven by a feeling that the family was essentially going to toss him off the boat in cement waders and he took that as a sign that he was longer family, and if that was true he was no longer going to feel bound by the unwritten code of silence. In a nutshell, he was silent about doping up to this point. He served his time. His family was not going to reward his time served with a position back in the European Pro peloton. He was going to talk since he had nothing to bind him to do otherwise.

  29. Sophrosune

    Padraig, You seem to have responded to something I’m not sure I said. My point was that I merely hope that when they investigate who his contacts were for buying his dope that this will lead to a doping syndicate within cycling being revealed and compromised. In the same way, Operacion Puerto did. I don’t believe that this or any one doping admission, accussation, positive test, or raid on a blood bank is going to eliminate doping in cycling, but little by little these cumulative events may make it more difficult for to exist.


    1. Author
      Padraig

      Sophrosune: Got it. Yes, I think it would be helpful if Landis’ confession resulted in sweeping revelations following an investigation.

  30. SinglespeedJarv

    todd k: talking of ultimations, you have to wonder about motivation for Radioshack to post up confidential emails on their teams website. And a one-sided email conversation at that. Those emails suggest that the Landis camp are slightly detached from reality, but the only threats seem to have come from the Armstrong side. SO what were the replies and why didn’t Radioshack feel the need to post them?

  31. Alex Torres

    I´m not really sure this is about Landis X Armstrong. I mean, they clearly have some bad vibes going between them, and the media seem to promote the case this way. But for me it´s not about “Landis is right (or wrong), therefore Armstrong should be (is) right (or wrong)”. They could – and probably are – both right and wrong, but Landis is obvisouly misguided in his actions, confused in his purposes and he just seem to keep on taking the WRONG actions and decisions. Since 2006 or before.

    Regardless of his character, doping manners or on-bike achievements, Armstrong is way too smart, way too clever, way too rich, way too savvy, and way too supported by extremelly professional colaborators, industry bigshots and friends to guide him through the mess. Any mess. He may or may not fall coming out of this, we may or may not like him but the world sees only one thing:

    Armstrong = money, revenues, press, public interest and increasing bike sales. He makes the cycling wheel turn large, period.

    Landis on the other hand is a busted cheater, a self-confessed liar and a deception. He sure ain´t smart. For him it´s only about the bike so he crashes and crumbles on the other surrounding aspects of life. He and his supporters are pretty capable of low, evil things, as the LeMond episode proved. Even if he does not believe that or finds himself not guilty of using exogenous testosterone (and I agree 100% with you Padraig on this) or whatnot, he´s practically and outcast, for his own fault.

    I´m not saying I love Armstrong (I don´t) or hate Landis (don´t either), but I find it hard, really hard to believe in good intentions on any from coming from Landis, no matter how I approach this. I don´t have the same kind of antipathy for him I have for Riccó or even Vino, but I´m yet to see some sense and integrity on his part. Since 2006 or even before…

    Just my opinion ;-)

  32. todd k

    Singlespeedjarv: not really sure myself. I was expectIng them to portray Landis as entirely incoherent and nonsensical.

  33. SinglespeedJarv

    Have I missed the subtle suggestion in Landis’ “confession” that the one thing he didn’t take in 2006 was synthetic testosterone. Not that the French labs got it wrong, but that someone else put it there?

  34. Plod

    Pope’s hit the nail on the head:

    “They all dope, all cycling legends doped, on with the race.”

    If you want “clean” racing, come and watch my local C Grade Vets. Nowhere near as exciting though. Stop your navel gazing and realize that the ProTour is not “sport” as such, but business. The aim of this business is to win in order to get a gig again next season, ad infinitum. Accept the ProTour as the rock opera it is. Satisfy your personal ideals by racing clean yourselves.

  35. mark

    He’s a nutcase. I truly believe he didn’t dope and is making this whole thing up. He’s bitter about getting screwed at the ’06 tour and watching his cycling career spiral into nothing (sorry Bahati)that he has fabricated this whole story as a last-ditch effort to get public sympathy and look like the saviour/whistle blower of all the dope in cycling. Sorry Floyd, you have no credibility to make up something like that. We’ve all watched countless otheres get busted for doping, admit it, serve there penalties, and most pick up their careers where they left off. That didn’t happen to floyd so he’s pissed and trying to flip his 4-year old story. Go off and be bitter floyd, just go away.

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