Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm Confessing: Floyd Landis comes clean and implicates others

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Well, it took a few years filled with denial but pro cyclist Floyd Landis finally came clean this week and confessed to using Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and testosterone on his way to his to his winning and then losing his 2006 Tour de France title and being banned from cycling for several years.

According to news stories, Landis simply, "couldn't live with myself any longer."

In fessing up, Landis reportedly sent a string of e-mails to various cycle sports governing organizations implicating a number of fellow pros including, hold your breath, Lance Armstrong.

According to all manner of blogging cycling folk, calling out Armstrong is like saying motherhood, apple pie and the flag are bogus. I mean Lance is more than a mere mortal. A bulletproof, Teflon one for sure. And anytime anyone says something about him, Armstrong's legion of attack lawyers are quick to resolve the problem.

Yes, Armstrong has done great works for cancer research and has raised the level of awareness of the disease both here and abroad. But the question still lingers as to whether he's a clean rider or not.

Landis says Armstrong isn't. But Landis is hardly a creditable source. Also Landis says he doesn't have any proof of his claims.

So, this appears to be just another "Lance did it too" moment in history that will soon fade from the headlines.

According to an ESPN Sports Nation poll, 84% of those who participated in the poll thought Landis to still be a liar in their eyes. 16% said they he'd more respect for him for coming forward to tell the truth.

Meanwhile the TV and radio sports show talking heads were divided into three camps re Landis and his confession.

Camp one claimed that Landis is a louse and anything he says should be treated as tainted and his pointed the finger at other pro cyclists was nothing more than sour grapes at best.

Camp two said it was good that Landis came forward but dissed him for taking money from book royalties and from people who believed in him to fight to get his name cleared. Simply put this camp said: "he needs to give all that money back."

The third camp came down on Landis in general but when it came to his biggest finger pointing target, Armstrong, they noted: "where's there smoke, there's fire."

One on-line wag had a creative take on the situation, Tweeting: "Dear Floyd Landis: Lance Armstrong dated an Olsen Twin. There's no way you can further harm his reputation."

Apart from the clever riposte, this brouhaha will rage on right up to the start of this year's Tour de France in July. Already the cycling community is defending its pro riders like a she bear protects her cubs.

They seem unwilling to come to terms with the fact that despite all the feel good speech by international cycling's governing bodies, pro cycling remains the most drug-ridden sport on the planet. 19 pro riders have died from drug-induced problems in the last decade.

Landis, like so many before him, says he felt it necessary to dope because if he didn't he'd be an also ran and years of training to become the best would just be n othing more than wasted time.

The thing that caught my eye most was the fact that Landis was spending $90,000 per annum on HGH and other drugs.

Wow, I had no idea Landis had that kind of pocket change. Make that did have that kind of pocket change.

My take on the whole affair is that nothing will come of it and cycling will continue its dirty ride into the future.

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