I No Longer Support Floyd Landis


In what is sure to be the biggest discussion amongst followers of pro cycling for, well probably forever, Floyd Landis has (according to the Wall Street Journal) admitted to doping in a series of letters to members of USA Cycling.

If that weren’t enough, Landis has detailed the doping procedures he says were taught to him by Armstrong and Bruyneel and were de-rigeur with other teammates.

Rather than list all the details of this doping admission and accusation, we’re going to recommend you go read the Wall Street Journal article, and then see if you ever have faith in professional cycling again.


Bad enough to be doping, but to gull everyone along for years with their lies has just about worn through my support too.  Shall we watch and enjoy racing with the same attitude with which we would watch pro wrestling?

HE WROTE A FREAKING BOOK CALLED POSITIVELY FALSE. He laid out his case in excruciating detail. Lies? All lies? I wanted to believe in his miracle comeback. I wanted to believe he was clean. I defended him in discussions with friends.

“I don’t feel guilty at all about having doped,” Landis told ESPN.com. “I did what I did because that’s what we [cyclists] did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there; and that was a decision I had to make to make the next step. My choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don’t do it and I tell people I just don’t want to do that, and I decided to do it.”

How about feeling guilty about lying to us all?

I won’t go so far as to say that Landis deserves to keep the ‘06 TdF title, but I don’t feel like Oscar Pereiro was a terribly legitimate winner. This year’s Giro is shaping up like that, too.

But back to Landis, I’m sure that he’s already made out better with the truth than selling Positively False.

all of the sudden crazyman LeMond seems a little more credible… I guess he knew what he was talking about

” then see if you ever have faith in professional cycling again”

Again? I never had faith to begin with! Pro cycling is so difficult and competitive that it doesn’t surprise me in the least that there are many people cheating. But tell me this: are pro cyclists any worse than other people? Are they worse than the highly educated financiers who cheated/bent the rules and helped bring about our current financial crisis? Are they worse than the people who exaggerated their income on credit card/mortgage applications and thus also contributed to our current financial crisis? Are they worse than all the people I see as a recruiter who exaggerate/lie on their resumes in order to get a job? Are they worse than all the motorists who break the law by speeding or cyclists who break the law by blowing stop signs? Why the f*** do we hold athletes - who at the end of the day are nothing more than entertainers competing for our amusement - to such lofty standards when on the whole our society is hardly a bastion of honesty? Bottom line is people who live in glass houses (and that’s pretty much all of us) shouldn’t throw stones.

  I don’t hold them to a different standard on their taxes, their tipping, or their driving.  But I hold them to a different standard in a race, the whole point of which is to test individuals or a group of them on the same standard:  who can ride a bike from point A to point B fastest?  The riders agree to a fairly standard set of rules at the outset (no motors, agreed route, no doping, etc.) and then take the test.  If one of the riders taking the test breaks a rule—dopes, takes a shortcut—I have a problem with that.  Fairness dictates disqualification or penalty.  I don’t think “don’t cheat” is much of a lofty standard, and I think few would disagree.
    You can debate whether “no doping” should be one of the rules.  But it is, and if you break it and get caught, don’t come crying to me.

“How ya like me now!” Greg LeMond just yelled. [Again!](http://bikehugger.com/2007/05/how_you_like_me_now.htm)

Can I just say that Ivan Basso is lookin’ pretty classy nowadays? He was fast and won some, but he wasn’t an insufferable braggart like Ricco. 

Then he gets popped for doping (...the horror, the horror…), takes his suspension and comes back to race solidly.  No screaming that the world is out to get him, no public flipflops, just does his thing like a professional.

Oh, I actually miss Alex Zulle too, for similar reasons.

Besides, I have always been bothered by the fact that we live in this pill-popping society where there is a medication for everything from sexual dysfunction to compulsive shopping but guys physically redlined like that should subsist on nothing but mineral water and non-GMO soy? I’m not saying that the should be shooting up with weapons-grade plutonium, but really…

Meh, doping has been endemic to pro-cycling since day 1.  It started with stimulants and “pain killers” and the technology has merely gotten better with time.

I must be the only person who doesn’t have a huge hatred for doping - I mean it’s just another performance enhancement technology, albeit one that carries more personal risk. 

The illicitness is a value judgment and so was banning dérailleurs (until 1937) and stuff like high aspect ratio aero frames, non double triangle frames, various aero positions, etc.

Students dope all of the time, so do shift workers.

Biological modification is a genuine trend for the future, chemical ingestion is just the ground level.

I think most people, deep down, realize that most winning cyclists were doping during those times.  Nobody wants to believe Armstrong or others were doping—and, frankly, most people don’t want to rehash it.  Now that cycling actually cares about doping, they just want to make sure they’re clean now.

People started wearing aero helmets in time trials—and winning.  The UCI (and others) didn’t stop them—-and soon everyone was wearing aero helmets so they could compete on a level playing field.  I don’t think it’s that much different with doping.

Nobody wants to talk about aero helmets from 25 years ago… or doping from 10 years ago.  Let’s move on…

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