Friday, May 6, 2011

Lance Armstrong Investigation: News About and From Floyd Landis

You might have heard that Floyd Landis is being sued in Switzerland by the Pat McQuaid, Hein Verbruggen and the UCI regarding his statements that former and past leadership of the UCI have been corrupt. This is similar to a lawsuit filed by the UCI against the former head of the WADA, Dick Pound that was dismissed a year ago when Pound made a vague statement that allowed the UCI to bow out without losing too much face.

An analysis of the Landis lawsuit on VeloNews suggests that the UCI really will get very little from this lawsuit even if they win it. In the end, the article provides this conclusion:
As one attorney looking at the case noted, “it looks like a PR move on the part of the UCI, one where they pull out all of their resources to try and shut someone up. I doubt it will go anywhere, though.”  
In response to the UCI's apparent PR move, VeloNews is reporting that Floyd Landis has stated that he plans to vigorously defend his statements. Apparently, he has a law firm willing to represent him. In addition, he sent an email to VeloNews that has some insightful statements that I've copied below...
Landis stated that when he originally took his claims to the USADA last year, he asked them to allow his former cycling friends to remain anonymous if possible. Here is the text of his email as reported on VeloNews:
One year ago, for the sake of my conscience, I admitted to having lied about having used (performance-enhancing drugs) during my cycling career. There was no doubt in my mind that I’d face retribution by those who stood to lose when faced with the exposure of their fraud.
Having felt the vitriol and invective directed at those who must bear the scarlet “D” for being exposed, I met with USADA and pled with them to subject none of my former colleagues to this opprobrium but rather to offer confidentiality and immunity to those who came clean and who offered a glimpse into the corruption within cycling. In return for turning on many of my former friends and colleagues I was assured that they’d be granted lenience and never have to suffer for my actions or theirs. Indeed in recent discussions I’ve learned that many of them have chosen to clear their conscience and have confirmed to USADA many of the allegations that I’ve made which were written off by the perpetrators of the fraud as “sour milk.”
It's the last sentence of this part of his email that I find interesting. Assuming Floyd has his facts straight, it sounds like Jeffrey Novitzky's investigation involving Lance Armstrong and doping in cycling has some additional confirmatory testimony other than the ones we've heard about before. In other words, some of Floyd's cyclist friends that we may have wondered how they testified, have confirmed some of Floyd's allegations against Lance, the UCI, or others.

The email continues with another insight:
However in light of the UCI’s attempt to collect defamation damages against me and the resulting necessity to have to defend myself, I now will have no choice but to depose those cyclists and expose them and for that I’m deeply sorry. I had hoped that in spite of whatever any current Federal cases may expose, as few of them as possible would need to speak publicly or testify, but it has become clear that the leaders of cycling will destroy anyone who stands in the way of covering their crimes.
In other words, assuming the UCI pushes forward with their lawsuit, we may see some of the witnesses who provided testimony to Novitzky that confirmed Floyd's allegations, come in to the open. However, I think it is unlikely we will know what these witnesses testified about since the VeloNews analysis said that a Swiss court probably has no ability to get American witnesses to testify. Unless Floyd's witnesses have ties to Switzerland, it's likely that we will simply learn who Floyd thinks has provided significant testimony in the Lance Armstrong investigation.

The end of Floyd's email shows that he has no intention to let the UCI bully him or shut him up:
The defamation suit filed today by the cycling leadership is nothing short of witness intimidation and a terrorist tactic designed to take away from me one of Americans’ most highly valued rights. So while the clouded version of freedom of speech offered to Europeans has allowed them to bully others into subservience in the past, it will only serve to strengthen my resolve to expose them as the criminals that they are.
 Dick Pound probably couldn't have said it any better!

1 comment:

  1. This is mainly Steve Tilford's fault but I support Floyd.