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July 27, 2006

Floyd Landis' Positive Test Taints Tour de France Victory

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis is in sports purgatory. One of his tests found too much testosterone in his system. Landis denies cheating, but has been suspended by his Phonak team while a second sample is being tested. But with the poor reputation surrounding the sport--the Tour started with many big names bounced from doping charges it will be hard for Landis to shake cheating charges even if future tests don't prove he blood doped or used performance-enhancing drugs. Landis' legendary turn-round in the Alps that took him from wearing the yellow jersey to being eight minutes behind the leader to only 30 seconds will have cycling skeptics wondering what he injected.

Landis understands this:

"Unfortunately, I don't think it's ever going to go away no matter what happens next," Landis said during a teleconference Thursday, hours after his Tour de France victory was thrown into question by a positive test for high testosterone following his gritty performance in stage 17 of the race.

"My immediate reaction was to look for the alcohol bottle," joked Landis, who's known to enjoy a beer while on the Tour and said he drank some whiskey with teammates the night before he staked his stunning comeback in the Alps.

The Phonak team suspended Landis, pending results from a backup sample. If found guilty, Landis could be stripped of the Tour title and fired from the team.

"At the exact moment I was told, every single scenario went through my head about what was going to happen," he said. "There was no way for me to tell myself that this wasn't going to be a disaster."


"I think there's a good possibility I'll clear my name," Landis said. "Regardless of whether this happens or not, I don't know if this will ever go away."

A member of the World Anti-Doping Agency Dr. Gary Wadler said if Landis was cheating with testosterone it would take weeks of use to have an effect. Earlier tests would show signs of such use.

We're at the early stage of the investigation. Tests will be done, and people will talk. What once was a special Tour de France could have a disasterous ending.

"Landis Denies Cheating After Positive Test"

[Added to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam.]

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Sports at 09:34 PM | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)