landis and his quest to clear his name

Posted on June 25, 2007

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So is Floyd Landis innocent of doping to win last year’s Tour de France?

In today’s edition of the UK newspaper, the Guardian, Landis maintains his innocence, and he tells the newspaper he is determined to prove his innocence, as his prize money from racing dwindles while his legal bills soar to pay for his defense. In the last year, his legal fees came up to $2 million.

“Do I think it’s been worth it? Yes, regardless of the result. It is not in my personality to take something like this and not defend myself. Athletes have walked away in the past because they didn’t have the resources or the energy to stand up to Usada (the US Anti-Doping Agency) and Wada (World Anti-Doping Agency) and this laboratory in Paris. What people do not realize is these organizations make mistakes but they cover up those mistakes to protect themselves. That’s completely unacceptable so, whatever it has cost me personally, of course it has been worth it,” he told the Guardian.

Landis sticks to his tune, even as his urine samples have yielded positive results for excessive testosterone. Both his “A” sample and a series of “B” samples have tested positive for testosterone. Add to that the bizarre story of Landis’ former manager blackmailing former cycling champion Greg LeMond, who was scheduled to give evidence on the side of Usada.

In the interview, Landis further hints at his retirement from the sport, “Why would I want to go back and deal with the people who are running the sport? As I said, they are clowns.”

As the series of scandal in the sport stacks up, the Tour de France’s organizers are taking some measures to stem the scepticism building against the sport. All the racers are to be asked to sign the document, which will confirm that they are not currently involved in any ongoing anti-doping investigations and that they are prepared to produce their DNA if necessary, for it to be compared with the blood seized by the Spanish police during the Operation Puerto inquiry into a blood-doping ring, the Guardian reported. Those that don’t sign the document could be barred from the race.

In addition, the cyclists also pledge to surrender one year’s salary if they violated any anti-doping rules.

Will these measures be enough to deter cheats? Keep your eyes peeled.

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Posted in: cycling, france, sports