May 20, 2010 – The recent revelations by Floyd Landis about doping for most of his cycling career continue to shake the cycling world as he’s named many other riders claiming they were also involved in doping. Topping the list is his former US Postal team mate, Lance Armstrong, the 7-time Tour de France winner now riding with Radioshack, and includes Americans Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack) and Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) and Canada’s Michael Barry (Team Sky). Johan Bruyneel former US Postal team director now directing Radioshack is also accused by Landis.
Landis claims in letters sent by him to USA Cycling officials that Armstrong tested positive for EPO in 2002, but that Armstrong “and Johan Bruyneel flew to the UCI headquarters and made a financial agreement with Mr. [Hein] Vrubrugen (sic) to keep the positive test hidden,” reports ESPN.
Armstrong refuted Landis allegations in an impromptu press conference held at the Tour of California accompanied by RadioShack team director Bruyneel, just prior to the Stage 5 in Visalia. “We have nothing to hide,” said Armstrong. “We’re as confused as everyone here about this. Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago.” He further questioned Landis’ credibility adding that he’d said very different things under oath and also noted that details were off with Landis’ time line of events.
Landis also claims to have shared EPO and testosterone with Barry and with Matthew White while they were all riding for US Postal in 2003. Toronto’s Barry flatly denied he’s ever used drugs during his cycling career. “I’ve always raced clean and that was the goal since I was a kid,” he said in an interview with the Toronto Star. “I was shocked when I was told about it, but at the same time, Floyd has lied under oath already and he’s pretty much thrown everybody who’s been associated with him in cycling into this. It also doesn’t really surprise me. I also really don’t understand why I’m involved. It’s not true.” – read more here.
Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford spoke to reporters earlier today at the Giro, where Barry is racing, about the allegations, claiming he had not yet spoken to Barry. “When we have the solid concrete facts, then you know where to go and what to do and we’ll act accordingly. We’re in the sports to race clean and that’s what we’ll do,” he told Cycling Weekly – read more here. here.
Similar allegations about Lance Armstrong have previously surfaced in a book about Armstrong entitled /L. A. Confidentiel : Les secrets de Lance Armstrong/ by sports journalists David Walsh and Pierre Ballester. That book was published only in French. The French newspaper l’Equipe reported in 2005 that 1999 urine B samples from Armstrong had been re-tested and were found to contain traces of EPO.
Another former TdF winner, Greg LeMond, who has openly feuded with Armstrong in public and in the press, said he believes most of Landis’ recent statements according to the New York Daily News. “Floyd has paid a heavy price and I support Floyd in his attempt to free himself from his past. I hope that others – fans, riders and sponsors embrace this as an opportunity to bring about positive change in the sport.” – read more here here
Today was a bad day for Armstrong at the Tour of California – apart from the allegations, he crashed out of the and received eight stitches below his right eye.