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2006 Tour de France Winner Floyd Landis Says USADA Accomplished Nothing with Lance Armstrong Lifetime Ban
October 31st, 2018
Floyd Landis thinks doping is just as bad now as when Lance Armstrong raced
Floyd Landis, the former 2006 Tour de France champion who was stripped of the title after testing positive for anabolic steroids, believes little has been accomplished by the lifetime ban given to Lance Armstrong. Landis thinks that doping is just as bad now as it was before Armstrong was kicked out of the sport.
“I’m not even sure the entire episode accomplished anything.”
The Cycling Weekly magazine asked Landis if he believed the sport of professional cycling was “more clean” today than during the Lance Armstrong era. Landis responded with a resounding ‘no’.
“No of course not,” Landis replied. “All the evidence is there that it’s not… At this point, I’m not even sure the entire episode accomplished anything.”
Landis repeatedly referred to the World Anti-Doing Agency (WADA) in connection to investigation into Armstrong. However, it was USADA who spearheaded the investigation and sanctioned Armstrong and other members of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team.
The USADA investigation concluded that Armstrong not only used a variety of prohibited performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) himself including testosterone, erythropoietin (EPO) and cortisone. He also encouraged and even pressured his teammates to use PEDs as well.
According to USADA’s narrative, the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team doping program was one of the “most sophisticated” in the history of sports. Armstrong and several other accused co-conspirators disagreed. Armstrong maintained that everyone else in cycling was doing the exact same thing.
Landis criticized anti-doping authorities for their obsessive pursuit of a few specific athletes for punishment while failing to go after the management of cycling. He also questioned whether the decision to give Armstrong a lifetime ban was fair.
Landis claimed “there were times” when he actually “felt bad for Lance”. Of course, this claim rings hollow given that Landis was the very first of Armstrong’s teammates to turn on him and rat him out.
First, Landis implicated himself, Lance Armstrong and all of his teammates as participants in an organized and systematic doping program within the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team. Next, Landis filed a False Claims Act civil lawsuit against Lance Armstrong on behalf of the federal government.
The so-called whistleblower lawsuit alleged Armstrong defrauded the government by accepting financial sponsorship for the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team while the entire team was participating in an organized doping program. The government later joined the case and ultimately won a $5 million dollar settlement paid by Armstrong.
Landis received $1.1 million from the settlement. In addition, Armstrong agreed to pay all $1.6 million of Landis’ legal expenses. Whether Landis genuinely feels sorry for Armstrong or not is debatable. On the other hand, there is no dispute that Landis gladly accepted Armstrong’s millions.