LeMond unplugged: Former Tour champ meets the press
By Jason Sumner
This report filed May 17, 2007
Following his startling testimony on day four the Floyd Landis arbitration hearing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond held an impromptu press conference in the hallway outside the courtroom. Here’s what he had to say.
On the threatening phone call:
The guy who threatened me last night, as I was leaving [the courtroom today], admitted that he called me and the tried to apologize. I plan on pursuing this through the police. It was a real threat and it was very, I hate to say it, creepy. I think it shows the extent of who he is.
On why he thought the phone call was made:
I mean, I think they didn’t want me coming here today. I don’t know why. If you didn’t do anything wrong, what would you object for me to be here.
I think if you read what [Landis] posted about me, I think there’s another side of Floyd the public has not seen. I was shocked last night, absolutely shaking and shocked. I just think the comprehension of his team about sexual abuse, and people who were victims of sexual abuse is absolutely reprehensible. It shows the extent of either their ignorance, their lack of intelligence or who they really are. They are not good people.
On whether he thought Landis admitted to doping during their phone conversation in August
It’s fully on record what he told me. And you can take what you want from that. Basically I was asked to show up here to talk about my conversation with Floyd. Floyd assumed that I breached some secret pact we had and I never breached any pact. I wanted truly for this to go through the legal system and USADA and this arbitration, and let the science and everything come out about the right or wrong.
You hear a lot of these athletes saying we should take down USADA, we should take down WADA, we should get rid of the UCI. Today I say thank God there’s WADA and USADA. Because we all know what’s happening to the sport of cycling. I love cycling. I care passionately about cycling. My son just got into bike riding last year. He’s got me riding again. He’s racing collegiate races. We’re going to the Tour de France this year to ride the L’Etape du Tour [a day when amateurs get to ride a stage of the Tour a day or so ahead of the race].
I can just imagine my son entering a professional race today and being faced with the choice of either you dope or you don’t. I had a legal reason I didn’t answer things about Lance Armstrong, that’s been fairly common knowledge for many years, that’s why I didn’t answer. What [Landis attorney Howard Jacobs] was trying to do was trying to portray me as having an ulterior motive. I put my whole bike company and my business at risk for standing up for proper ethics and honesty and I wish more people would do this in the sport of cycling.
The sport is paying the price for the dishonesty and lies. The lies are starting to tumble. The house of cards is cracking and it’s coming down. I think it’s a good thing for cycling. I think the Tour de France is an incredible event and I think that as this culture and this generation of the past gets cleansed and they really attack the issue of doping…
When I hear people say you can’t win the Tour de France without doping, I did, and if everybody starts clean from point A to point B, you’re going to have a winner crossing the finish line and I could tell you it would be more exciting. So I’m just here because I really believe in finding out the truth of what’s going on in cycling. I happened to not call Floyd, he called me and I was asked to testify.
Nobody owns me, nobody in the world of cycling. There have been a lot of people who do not want to look at the truth of what going on in cycling because of economics. I’ve had an economic fallout. If they’re trying to say I have an economic reason, I’ve had an economic fallout. I don’t really care because I’m not someone who can be bought off, silenced. I’m doing what’s right and what I felt was right was coming here and telling the truth.