Floyd Landis, the dethroned winner of the 2006 Tour de France, has admitted and provided details in recently sent e-mails to cycling officials, sponsors and the media about his systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
The e-mails also claim other riders and cycling officials allegedly participated in doping, including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The article details Landis’ use of EPO, how he learned to conduct blood transfusions, take the synthetic blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) and use steroids.
The article further details Landis said he started using testosterone patches, then progressed to blood transfusions, EPO, and a liquid steroid taken orally.
Landis said he first used performance-enhancing drugs in June 2002 when he was a member of the U.S. Postal Service team.
Prior his controversial victory and subsequent disqualification from the Tour de France, Landis was Armstrong’s teammate during the seven-time Tour de France winner’s race titles in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Landis also finished ninth in the 2005 Tour de France while riding for Phonak.
Armstrong surprisingly hand-picked Landis for the 2002 squad just prior to the start of the Tour de France.
Armstrong and George Hincapie, both Landis’ former teammates, as well as Johan Bruyneel, the team director for all of Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France titles, are all implicated in the details of The Wall Street Journal article.
Landis declined an interview with the newspaper. But the cyclist told ESPN.com he decided to tell the truth because he’s suffering from years of deceit and because he’s become a cycling pariah.
Landis also told ESPN.com he called his mother in Pennsylvania before sending his confession emails.
“I want to clear my conscience,” Landis said. “I don’t want to be part of the problem anymore.”
Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France victory for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone. He was given a two-year ban from the sport by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Following his two-year ban, Landis returned to cycling in 2009 for Team OUCH and made his comeback at Tour of California, finishing 23rd overall. Landis rode throughout the 2009 season, but did not have any top-three finishes.
En route to his improbable 2006 Tour de France title, Landis won the inaugural Tour de California.
More on Landis:
- THE RISE AND CRASH OF A TOUR DE FRANCE TITLIST
- AN OPEN LETTER TO FLOYD LANDIS
This season, Landis is riding for the OUCH-Bahati team and finished second in April at the Tour of the Battenkill in New York.
In his e-mails, Landis also implicated Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie, the current leader and third-place rider in the Tour of California.
Armstrong, Zabriskie, Leipheimer and Bruyneel didn’t comment. Hincapie, via a spokesperson, denied the allegations. Bruyneel and Armstrong are scheduled to comment prior to the fifth stage of the Tour of California, beginning Thursday (May 20) in Visalia.