Sunday, December 19, 2010

Floyd Landis Worked Undercover to Assist in Doping Raid

It appears that, last Spring, about the time that Floyd Landis alleged that Lance Armstrong was involved in doping, Floyd was helping Jeffrey Novitzky to investigate systematic doping in pro cycling. New York Daily News reported today that an unnamed source has revealed that Floyd Landis wore an undercover microphone and took undercover videos in Michael Ball's apartment. Michael Ball was the owner of the pro cycling team known as Rock Racing that filled its roster with pro cyclists who had been caught doping including Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton and others. The articles say this video and audio evidence was used by Jeffrey Novitzky to get the search warrant to raid Ball's apartment. Here is a blurb from an article in VeloNation:

According to an unnamed source who spoke to the New York Daily News, Landis filmed what is thought to have been human growth hormone and other doping products in the refrigerator at Ball’s luxury apartment in Marina Del Rey, California. The audio and video data was then used by FDA agent Jeff Novitzky to secure a search warrant, which in turn led to the seizure of banned substances.
"The quantity and the quality of the video surveillance was pivotal in the decision to serve a search warrant and essentially raid Ball's apartment to seize the drugs," said the source to the US newspaper.
I first learned about Rock Racing when they had just started and they showed up at the Valley of the Sun Stage Race. They had two black Escalades parked on the side of the start of the road race and they were surrounded by more bling than you could find on the Las Vegas strip. We were all baffled by this crazy team and later learned that it was full of a bunch of pros who were caught doping. I guess we now know what Ball meant when he said these riders deserved another chance. Apparently, he meant another chance to dope and try to win while cheating! What a guy...

As for this latest story about Floyd, Versus is saying that Floyd has no comment. Sometime, probably soon, we are likely to hear more about what Novitzky has been up to for the past six plus months. He seems to have been busy and he also seems very thorough in whatever he investigates.

Is it just me or does it seem that there are a lot of lose ends in the doping investigations in cycling? There is the Lance Armstrong investigation, the Contador case, and Joe Papp's customer list that each could be very interesting dramas...I don't know about you but I'd like to tie them down and move on.

I'm just hoping we get to the bottom of it so cycling can clean up its act and move down the road. The public peloton is hanging back as if it's waiting for the race leaders to get back on their bikes...

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