Thursday, May 20, 2010

Floyd Landis - Admission of Doping - The Armstrong Myth

On Friday, April 23, 2010, I authored the following post for Pappillon: "LeMond was clean; maybe Ullrich could have been, too?" In it, I wrote:

"I'll give L.A. credit for protecting himself by linking the fortunes of so many individuals and organizations to his own fate, thereby creating a determined network of defenders. I think it highly likely possible, however, that someone in his inner circle will break the omertà eventually, however, and he'll may be a big enough name not to be marginalized. Who this courageous individual might be, I dare not do not know and will not speculate, but he is may be out there, waiting."

Obviously that day is upon us, and that person is none other than Floyd Landis.

Floyd Landis is incredibly courageous in coming forth now to finally share his true experiences in the world of professional cycling and at the side of Lance Armstrong. The culture of doping is so pervasive in our sport that it encourages good people to do bad things. But Floyd is now doing the right thing, and telling the truth. I support him fully and unequivocally, and in no way doubt the veracity of any of the statements he's made regarding doping at USPS and Phonak. As for Lance Armstrong, the accusations against him cast serious doubt upon his credibility, and have forever altered the "Armstrong Myth."

UPDATED: It’s very easy for Lance Armstrong, Pat McQuaid and others to say that Floyd Landis has no credibility after his having claimed for four years that he was a clean rider. But it’s often only after the doping lie has nearly consumed you that it becomes possible to let go of the lie – face the truth – and admit to yourself, your family, and the world the magnitude of what you’ve done. What choice did Floyd have? Keep lying? For what? To protect a system that ground him up and spit him out like dirt? Everyone says that in cycling there is Omertà. But at least the mafia takes care of its own. In cycling you’re expected to keep quiet, deny the truth and protect your former teammates and rivals, even as they call you a crazy bastard and say you’re a pathetic egoist. No, Floyd Landis is a courageous man, because he no longer is willing to perpetuate a lie – and the Armstrong Myth. I support him unequivocally and have no reason to doubt the veracity of his claims.

Bonnie Ford at ESPN provides coverage here.  
WSJ here.
NY Daily News - here.
Late to the party: The NY Times.

13 comments:

  1. Thanks Joe. I applaud Floyd for coming clean too.
    Alot of people will be anxiously awaiting the outcome of all this.
    Cheers,
    Mike Anderson

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  2. And so the house of cards doth tumble?

    I hope that Landis has enough "oomph" to his story, enough irrefutable facts, because this house is built strong and he could end up just bouncing off it rather than knocking it down; and hat would be sad because I think that he is about to pay a high price.

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  3. I wonder if Landis is the perfect storm... the clap of thunder that the LeMond v. Trek case lacked, as Armstrong's alleged doping was a side issue to the case. I'm no lawyer, but I do know in the past that lawyers have been used at great lengths whenever an allegation arose about a certain cyclist having participated in doping. This may be an instance of where getting lawyers involved to go after Landis for slandering the good names of many elite cyclists would be worst case scenario. If they go after him, his lawyers will begin the subpoena process of relevant witnesses. These relevant witnesses may be non-cyclists who firsthand saw events occur that were blatant acts of doping. Put them under oath and let them either refute or affirm what Floyd is stating. One such witness may be LA's ex-wife. Would she risk perjury and jail time? What about other Postal staff that at this point have nothing to lose by telling the truth and avoiding perjury? It only takes a couple of witnesses and a house of cards of epic proportions begins a monumental collapse. If LA is the person that many make him out to be, then this is a perfect storm beyond belief. Where control was once before assured, now it has disintegrated at every level. If the lawyers move in it may be the end to the persona of many. Some of the riders mentioned by Landis are my favorites and have never been mentioned in any form as connected to doping. I would be disheartened in regards to my appreciation of their hard work if what Floyd is saying is legit. However, this could be the final piece of a puzzle that completes a very complicated era within cycling's history. Say what we may about Floyd, but if independent former staffers begin affirming Floyd's statements, well, case closed. I know LA and JB are having a press conference this AM and it will be interesting if they say anything at all. What is on the line for them I dare not to fathom... a new cycling team with a leading sponsor that has stepped up in a big way and an international cancer org that is making a difference in the fight against cancer.

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  4. Joe: You called it.

    Anon: +1

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  5. please tyler if youre out there. give floyd a call or call your own press conference. nows the time.

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  6. Joe, I see you support the four year liar, now come clean Landis without hesitation. Does that mean if KW comes out and says DHEA is awful and he's sorry he gave it to others and wants to be JOE CLEAN that you will support him, too. Or perhaps he simply has to drag any winner through the mud to show how corrupt and cruel the sport is. It seems you are still grinding more axes than you know.

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  7. Truth will always prevail. Wise peoples stick to the truth. "Lie is a temporary state"

    The Bear

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  8. For all of lance’s denials, there are too many like Michele Ferrari and others with whom he’s been associated who have poor images around drugs and cycling. Now he’s trying to trash his former teammate whom he trusted and rode with during the battles of the tour - 3 times after being chosen by lance. Yes, landis lied and is not someone I fully believe about everything, but someone who I think tried to cover up for his teammates and friends and those who sponsored him who knew of his team’s use. Initially, I think he really did care about his current and former teammates and really did want to protect them. landis and all of the riders and their teams were circumventing the drug tests and I think when he was caught, he was surprised and thought that because he had beaten the tests so many times previously, he’d beat them in court. He had a lot of people to protect by hiding the truth. lance can try all he wants to paint his former friend landis as crazy, but lance is the one who is crazy for trying to damage his former friend.

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  9. Maybe Landis finally is just internalizing what Greg Lemond told him to do when he was first caught: tell the truth, blow the lid off of the drugs in cycling and allow cycling to clean up its act?

    Cycling has institutionalized cheating and the US petty need to have heroes is adding to the problem.

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  10. For the reporters from the various cycling websites that have been "covering" this story (though hardly investigating it):

    As journalists you could use a bit of creativity and pursue the story. How about talking to the many riders on USPS who subsequently either admitted to doping or were caught outright? Andreu, Heras, Hamilton, Beltran should all be targets for reporters to pursue. After all you have a pattern established here -- many riders associated with Armstrong all doped. How about finding and talking to the many support staff? I'm sure there are many leads to pursue. Do your job!

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  11. Cycling will always condemn people like Landis, Papp, Walsh, etc. as "untrustworthy". They are either jealous, liars or greedy. No one will listen. But the irony is that the person who should be listened to more than anyone is the guy who has doped, and learned how to do it.

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  12. Thanks Floyd. Finally, finally telling the truth. Respect. Couragous. Truth against a corrupt system and the cancer of cycling. Respect, Floyd, Respect! Stay with the truth!

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