The recent admission by cyclist Floyd Landis that he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout much of his career — including the 2006 Tour de France in which his title was stripped- – has sent a shock wave through the cycling world. But is it anything new?
Landis recently told ESPN’s Bonnie Ford, “I want to clear my conscience. I don’t want to be a part of the problem anymore.”
Well, Mr. Landis, you are a part of the problem. If you ask most people, they would tell you it’s rather silly to spend two million dollars of your own money over the past four years trying to clear your name, when you know it was all a big lie.
Cycling fans will never forget Landis’ heroic breakaway on stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France. But now we find out that day and his whole career has been a sham.
Landis, who said he has no documentation to prove his claims, also implicated seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, U.S. road-racing champion George Hincapie, five-time U.S. time-trial champion Dave Zabriskie and three-time Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer. All four riders are currently participating in the Amgen Tour of California and were unavailable for comment on Wednesday. Armstrong and current Radio Shack team manager — and team manager of the U.S. Postal Service squad during Armstrong’s Tour de France reign- – Johan Bruyneel are expected to give a statement before stage five of the ATOC.
Floyd, how are we supposed to believe a word you say any more after you just lied to us for four years?
If we can’t trust a hard-working Mennonite from Pennsylvania who used to get up in the middle of the night in the winter and ride 100 miles on his bike, who can we trust? We can’t trust a guy who used to show up to races wearing sweatpants because his religion wouldn’t allow him to wear shorts?
Cycling is a sport of great physical and mental demands, and unfortunately it has been tarnished time and time again from cheats who feel they can’t win without the help of drugs.
From Tom Simpson dying on Mont Ventoux in the 1967 Tour from the use of amphetamines to Landis’ admission, can we ever trust these guys?
The United States is a forgiving nation, so you will be forgiven, Floyd. But with each great cyclist’s admission that he cheated the sport, it’s becoming harder and harder to remain a fan.
Landis steadfastly denied the use of PED’s for the past four years — begging, pleading, stating his case and even writing a book to make his claim. And now we find out it was a lie.
Thanks, Mr. Landis.