Floyd Landis, Did he do it?

Floyd Landis' arbitration hearings ended on May 23rd. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to shed much light on whether Floyd did use synthetic testosterone during his impressive win of stage 17 of 2006 Tour. Unfortunately, this may never be proven. Only Floyd, and perhaps his personal trainer, Robbie Ventura, would know whether he doped or not.

It seems impossible that any sport, including cycling, will ever be free of abuses of performance enhancement drugs. However, a competent, credible and impartial monitoring organization can be effective in minimizing the abuses. With the long list of questionable practices by the French testing lab personnel, the administrators, the European and American anti-doping bureaucrats WADA and USADA, it is unlikely that this problem will go away. When critical electronic files get erased by the testing lab people, when the anti-doping buerocrats offer "deals" to Landis in order to implicate Lance Armstrong, etc. one must wonder if the issue is one of keeping the sport clean or score political points by these people and agencies.

I've heard a lot of complaints about Greg LeMond and his testimony at the hearings. As far as I know, Greg is a fine gentleman in addition to being a three time Tour winner along with an impressive career loaded with victories. He simply stated that if Floyd did dope then he should come clean. He never accused Floyd for using illegal substances.

It is a shame that a large number of extremely talented and super cyclists like Landis, Ullrich, Hamilton, Basso, Heras, and a long list of others have been forced to resign from the sport because of their alleged use of illegal performance enhancement drugs. Regardless of the outcome of Landis' case, perhaps, istead of blaming LeMond for his comments, or Armstrong for his silence, the professional cycling community should direct its priorities and focus on cleaning up the beuroctratic organizations and their systems so the current and future generations of talented athletes are able to compete fairly and be a clean and positive influence in promoting the sport.

Comments 2 comments

dmalloy 9 years ago

Vic, your comments are well-considered and presented. The regulatory agencies have all but destroyed their credibility. I still want to understand how a one-time dose of synthetic testosterone can boost performance. Doping will continue because there is enormous pressure to find a presently undetectable supplement to get the athlete to the next (incrementally miniscule) level. And there will always be dispute as to where good nutrition and acceptable supplementation ends and doping begins. Regarding Lemond, he seems to be taking a pretty reasonable position on the Landis matter, but I will always resent his implication that Lance could not have achieved what he did without illegal help. Armstrong deftly pointed out that Lemond held the time trial record for so many years. What, he can perform at a superior level naturally, but others need to cheat? Dan


jerry wiencek 9 years ago

Either firgure out a way to design a credible method to eliminate any an all substances or let them" run what they brung" and put warnings on all performance enhancing substances. We know that cigaretts kill and all we do is

put warnings on the labels..... we should mandate the same for all drugs.

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