It just dropped. And it weighs 900 pounds.
Floyd Landis, the American cyclist whose 2006 Tour De France victory was nullified after a positive doping test, has sent a series of emails to cycling officials and sponsors admitting to, and detailing, his systematic use of performance enhancing drugs during his career. The emails also claim that other riders and cycling officials allegedly participated in doping, including seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
. . . Mr. Landis said that Mr. Armstrong’s longtime coach, Johan Bruyneel, introduced Mr. Landis to the use of steroid patches, blood doping and human growth hormone in 2002 and 2003, his first two years on the U.S. Postal Service team. He alleged Mr. Armstrong helped him understand the way the drugs worked. “He and I had lengthy discussions about it on our training rides during which time he also explained to me the evolution of EPO testing and how transfusions were now necessary due to the inconvenience of the new test,” Mr. Landis claimed in the email. He claimed he was instructed by Mr. Bruyneel how to use synthetic EPO and steroids and how to carry out blood transfusions that doping officials wouldn’t be able to detect.
I always knew it was all about Bruyneel’s Belgian Bunny Juice.
I. Always. Knew. It.
Levi Leipheimer and Dave Zabriskie are also mentioned/implicated/accused. We’ll see, we’ll see. I would not be surprised to find out Levi has rolled dirty. He came out of nowhere and got third at the Vuelta. He was, by all accounts, a decent domestic professional cyclist up until that point. Then he was a successful professional cyclist on the Continent. It lit off alarms like he was riding for Gewiss-Ballan.
Levi Leipheimer’s breakthrough performance was during his inaugural Grand Tour in 2001 at the Vuelta a España, where he finished in third place overall.
The joke back then was, “Did you hear about Levi? He accidentally picked up Lance’s suitcase at the airport on his way to Spain.”
Looks like it’s still the joke now.
Yeah. Hilarious, ain’t it? Guys come into contact with Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel and a big, black cloud appears over their heads. And, they also start to race a whole lot better than they did prior to their new “association.”
Zabriskie? I’ve no idea. I’ve heard zilch about that guy for all these years. It’s about to get very interesting. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about Leipheimer and Zabriskie all summer long.
Nearly four years after he began waging a costly, draining, and ultimately losing battle to discredit his positive test for synthetic testosterone at the 2006 Tour de France, Floyd Landis told ESPN.com Wednesday that he used performance-enhancing drugs for most of his career as a professional road cyclist, including the race whose title he briefly held.
In a lengthy telephone interview from California, Landis detailed extensive, consistent use of the red blood cell booster erythropoietin (commonly known as EPO), testosterone, human growth hormone and frequent blood transfusions, along with female hormones and a one-time experiment with insulin, during the years that he rode for the U.S. Postal Service and Switzerland-based Phonak teams.
What I’ve always hated was the deception, the deceit, the falsehoods.
I know my heroes do (have done, will continue to do) drugs. Just don’t fucking lie to me about it.
“I want to clear my conscience,” Landis said. “I don’t want to be part of the problem any more.”
I applaud this. I support this.
Landis’ doping conviction cost him his Tour title, his career, his life savings and his marriage. He said he knows his credibility is in tatters and that many people will choose not to believe him now.
However, Landis said he finally decided to come forward because he was suffering psychologically and emotionally from years of deceit, and because he has become a cycling pariah with little to no chance of ever riding for an elite team again. Prior to speaking with ESPN.com, he said he made his most difficult phone call — to his mother in Pennsylvania to tell her the truth.
The call to mom. Jesus Christ… Can you imagine? That was not fun. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Yes, it cost him a lot. It very nearly could not have cost him more.
You know who else lost a lot? Tyler Hamilton.
How long till he starts singing?
Landis, who began his career as a top mountain biker, had kept detailed training journals since he was a teenager. He said he continued the same methodical record-keeping once he started using banned drugs and techniques. Landis said he spent as much as $90,000 a year on performance-enhancing drugs and on consultants to help him build a training regime. Landis said he has kept all of his journals and diaries and has offered to share them with U.S. anti-doping authorities in recent meetings. He added that he has given officials detailed information on how athletes are beating drug testing.
$90k is some long cash. And he kept records? Written, detailed records? And, remember, J. Vaughters alleged that Landis also has photographs. Yes, this is going to get very interesting.
Update: Velonews just got a piece up announcing 1) they couldn’t get anyone on the phone at this late hour (12:41 am in Arizona as I type this) and 2) expect press conferences tomorrow morning at the Tour of California from Armstrong, Bruyneel and Zabriskie (who currently leads the Tour of California!). I expect the fine folks at Velonews to hit this one hard.