Floyd, Lance, Doping, Cycling…

As many of you know, last week Floyd Landis came out swinging – accusing Lance Armstrong and about dozen other people of systemic doping over the past 12 years.  I have a lot of thoughts on this – and a lot of my non-cycling friends have asked me about it.  A lot of my cycling friends have their own opinions.  Some think Lance is running top fuel, others do not – I don’t know.  I wanted to take a few minutes and lay out my thoughts.  Not for debate, drama or any other reason – but just so if anybody says “What do you think?” I can say – check my blog.

First – beyond a shadow of a doubt, Floyd Landis is a lying piece of shit douchebag.  I will not sway from that one.  In this string of events, he basically tried to get Lance’s team (Radio Shack) to pay him $1,000,000 and let them ride for them – or he was going to tell all… they said “We aren’t worried, we have nothing to hide.”  Floyd told all… but here is the catch:

  • Floyd, under oath, swore he never used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).
  • Floyd wrote a book that lots of people bought that explain how he didn’t use PEDs.
  • Floyd formed a fund to get people to donate money to help him pay his lawyer bills after getting caught using PEDs.
  • Floyd is the only man in the world to ever have been disqualified from winning the Tour de France.
  • Floyd used personal stories, antics and scare tactics against Greg Lemond to try to keep him from testifying in court.
  • Floyd alleged that Lance tested positive in a race he didn’t ride.
  • In my eyes – Floyd has no real credibility.

Having said all that Floyd has been deeper into the inner circle than most any of us ever have.  He has been on the bus.  He has been in the hotel, he has ridden across the line in Paris in yellow.  He has been to the world that only a few know about.  So what if he is telling the truth?  Should we listen?  Well – one thing is for certain at this point – people listened and are going to investigate.  There is a huge media circus following this thing.  There are “anonymous sources” willing to work with unidentified “federal agents” to get to the bottom of this.  I’m actually kind of glad… maybe in 5 years, we can look back on all of this and say “Lance was clean!  He was the best cyclist of all time!” or we will say “Lance was  a bigger jackass than Landis.”  Only time will tell.

Here are some of my thoughts on Lance and the situation as a whole:

  • Lance is probably the most tested athlete in the world.
  • There are tricks around passing doping control tests.
  • Lance has had a LOT of very talented teammates ride for him in the past.  A lot of those very talented teammates have been implicated in various drug scandals and/or tested positive for any number of things including EPO and having another person’s blood in their body.
  • I personally have a hard time believing that a person would go through what Lance did with cancer and then risk his personal health by taking dope.
  • In all of the allegations against Lance, no judge, jury or organization has been able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Lance was taking PEDs.
  • Why would he come back if he knew he was using in the past?
  • When Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton came back from their 2 year suspensions – they were not the same riders.  They went from the front of the pack to middle or back – or talking to team cars.  They may have won domestic races – but nothing big again.  Lance took 3 years off and came back to get 3rd in the tour.  If we assume for one second that Floyd and Tyler came back clean – it shows they were doping before hand.  Now – either Lance was and IS doping – or Lance was clean and is still clean – just a few years older and a few years out of competition.
  • If Lance is doping, I have a hard time believing that SOMEBODY other than a known and confessed doper doesn’t have the Silver Bullet.  I mean – seriously – if I gave Lance a shot of EPO and could prove it – I’d not be writing my blog right now, I’d be talking to Larry King and negotiating my book deal … or talking to the un-named Federal Agents.  Simply put – there is smoke – but we can not find any fire.
  • I read something the other day that said “Please list all of the athletes ever implicated in a drug scandal that have some back and shown themselves to be clean.  Wait – I can’t think of one!”  This person was talking about the Baseball debacle of a few years ago.  It’s seemingly true though….
  • How do you piss off Kristin Armstrong (his ex-wife), Sheryl Crow (his ex-girlfriend) and people for YEARS but never leave any real evidence that they could/would/might bring to the public?

As much as it looks like Lance was, is or could be on drugs – there are so many things that just don’t add up.  What do those create?  In my mind, reasonable doubt.

It’s a mess.  I know Lance has the best of EVERYTHING in the world – but can he really cross that many paths, with an attitude like his – and never leave a real shred of evidence?  Floyd acts like Lance was a doping cowboy, slinging the EPO and blood around like it was kool aid… how come it never really spilled?

You make your own decisions – I’ve got left a lot of room for ambiguity and interpretation because in the long run – I’ve never been behind the closed doors of the Tour de France.  I love riding my bicycle.  I love racing my bicycle.  I don’t mind losing bike races – I’ve done it many times before.  Many of my competitors are younger, more gifted, probably on dope … but I love it.  Maybe the entire sport needs to implode and we all go back to just riding our bikes.  Billions of Chinese people cant be all wrong?

On a much lighter note – I rode to work today – caffinated to the gils and set a new PR!  Pass the coffee, please!