Thursday, 20 May 2010

Landis opens a can of worms

In an extraordinary about face Floyd Landis has given an interview to the US press admitting to doping and claiming to have written emails to various people/bodies blowing the whistle on several high profile riders, managers and officials and their allegedly dodgy practices. He's also raised big questions about doping procedures and enforcement.

This is going to be a hell of a sh*t storm! He has tried to open so many cans of worms it's not funny. Needless to say Twitter is alive with this!

Among other things he claims:

- he did dope in 2006, but not with what he was caught for!
- US Postal, including Lance, Hincapie, Vaughters and Bruyneel (among others) were up to their necks in it including blood doping, testosterone patches and other methods
- the UCI and Armstrong colluded in covering up a positive test for money
- Phonak not only turned a blind eye but actually paid for his "treatments"

Of course Landis could be said to be a less than reliable witness with more than enough motives for bitterness and revenge but it remains to be seen what evidence he will be able to produce. This brings previously forgotten incidents back to the fore (the famous Vaughters/Andreu IM messages for example). It also focusses a much needed spotlight back on what was going on at US Postal. It can't be a co-incidence that so many of Lances lieutenants from back then have since been caught or admitted doping of one form or another.

It's early days yet and we need to see how this story develops over the next while but there must be some very uncomfortable people in Aigle, Italy and California today!

Will there be a Lance/Bruyneel backlash or will they keep quiet on it? Will Vaughters live up to his avowed Garmin philosophy and come clean on what he knows? Will Cadel get caught up in it via the Lelangue connection to BMC?

To my mind the inevitable witchhunt for offenders shouldn't obscure the need to look at the systemic issues he raises. I've already posted here about my concerns re the Vania Rossi case. Is it time the UCI/WADA were put under scrutiny too?

The story is here and here

Some of Floyds email is here

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