Sunday, November 28, 2010

Lance Armstrong Investigation: Floyd Speaks Again

Floyd Landis broke months of near silence to accuse Lance Armstrong and his team of systematic doping in the 2004 tour. An article in VeloNation quotes Floyd in explaining how the team bus arranged for blood doping through transfusions that Landis described as "part of the job." The article said that Landis "spoke about a specific incident when he alleges a transfusion involving several riders was carried out on the morning of the first Alpine stage in the 2004 Tour de France." Here are some of the better quotes:

"The team had a well-organised blood-doping program, and used other products so that our levels remained normal. You can use the word systematic.”
“There was always a way to invoke a problem with the bus, others could not see inside. You need a few people, as well as the doctors, as in the bus there were nine [riders] to have it done [the transfusion] to at the same time. A transfusion takes about fifteen minutes. When you reach this point, it’s something in common [with the riders]. It was routine, there was no debate to be made, we all knew we would do it. It was part of the job, it was a trivial thing.”
In addition to these allegations against Lance and his team, Landis also implied that UCI officials looked the other way to protect or promote the "stars" of the sport. He said:
“In the peloton, everyone knows that Pat McQuaid, Hein Verbruggen and other leaders of the UCI protected some riders and not others during the past 20 years. It was their way of manipulating and creating stars...”
The article also mentions that Landis is skeptical of Contador's claim of innocence. In a separate article on VeloNation, an official from WADA is quoted as discussing WADA's option to appeal Contador's case if the Spanish federation is biased in their ruling on the yellow jersey winner.

The Landis article ended with a few quotes from Floyd saying that he realizes his credibility is shot and that people may not believe him. He said:
“I should not have lied the first time. I want cycling to improve. But it doesn’t matter to me if the world believes me or not.” 
Yes, Floyd, you're right that you should not have lied the first time. As for believing him this time, we may soon learn if Jeff Novitzky is collecting evidence showing that Floyd is telling the truth now...

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