Sunday, May 23, 2010
Floyd Landis finally tells the truth...
Floyd Landis, the disgraced pro cyclist who has the dubious distinction of being the only Tour de France winner to ever have his title stripped for failing a drug test, has recently announced what has been obvious to many who are familiar with the sport-that he used PED's (Performance Enhancing Drugs) throughout his whole career.
This revelation in and of itself is not nearly as shocking as what came next. Landis has, in a couple of sentences, rocked the pro cycling establishment with his claim that while riding for the US Postal team from 2002-2004 there was an organized conspiracy to dope, and that the whole machinery was orchestrated by Lance Armstrong and implemented by the director sportif of the team, Johan Bruyneel.
I'm not going to rehash the bullshit that's been regurgitated by the various camps on this matter. UCI president "Fat" Pat McQuaid was demonstrably vociferous in his dismissal of Landis as a rogue character who has an agenda to destroy cycling. Armstrong accused Landis of extortion and posted emails from Floyd and some doctor associated with Landis as proof. Other riders and team directors made it a point that cycling should "move forward" from all this and forget the past.
These are the exhortations of people deeply entrenched in a corrupt system who, while paying lip service to the notion of a cleaner sport, are all scared of the 800-pound gorilla in the room-Lance Armstrong, who by the way not only represents a tainted past but his influence is one that could very well shape the future of the sport. If the allegations are cooberated by others with eyewitness testimony, better to rid pro cycling of Armstrong NOW before he poisons another generation of riders who all want to grow up and be just like him and will no doubt adopt the same measures he did on the way to becoming the kingpin of pro cycling.
These accusations could very well go down as the ravings of a lunatic, and let's face it-Landis has more then his share of credibility issues. From fighting his positive doping test, to writing a book proclaiming his innocence, to soliciting and accepting funds from fans to help counter the costs of his legal defense (which was estimated at around $2 million dollars), to the absolutely despicable phone call to Greg Lemond by his then-manager Will Geoghegan ridiculing Greg about the abuse he suffered as a child, to the French Authorities putting a warrant out for his arrest for computer hacking into a French anti-doping lab.
Many serious issues to set aside if one is willing to give these latest allegations any credence. And from reading the various cycling forums, Landis has already been convicted and hanged in the court of public opinion. But Landis may have people who, willingly or not, may be forced to give testimony to the shenanigans during Armstrong's reign as Tour champion. The USADA has procured the services of one federal agent Jeff Novitsky, he of the BALCO investigation, and according to an article in the London Sunday Times Davis Walsh has reported that one of the people who has agreed to cooperate is Lance Armstrong's ex-wife Kirsten.
This little detail adds a whole new twist to this tale. Right now we have no idea what she'll reveal, if anything. Certain former teammates who currently make their living off cycling are not going to be able to brush this aside if Mr. Novitsky comes knocking on their door. I understand their position. When your livelihood is on the line, the first thing you think about is your family. The second thing you think of is your own scrawny neck on the line.
There is a lot of conjecture out there in cyberspace over what may happen. Right now everything is quiet, and the only ones making noise and squirming like water rats are the ones who've been implicated. Ireland's Fat Pat McQuaid, the residing King Nutria of the UCI, cycling's governing body, has said that it was a mistake taking the "donation" from Lance Armstrong, which is proving to be a problematic little detail in and of itself. Was it $100,000 like he has recently stated, or was it the $500,000 as originally reported? Fat Pat also doesn't know exactly what happened to the "change" left over after allegedly using the money to purchase an apparatus for dope testing that cost $88,000. What happened to the leftover funds, Pat? That type of money certainly does buy a lot of corned beef and cabbage eh, you fat fuck?