Floyd Landis vs. Lance Armstrong: Are doping allegations credible?
Doping allegations have dogged Lance Armstrong throughout his career, but the the seven-time Tour de France winner has deflected them all. The latest accusations are from a disgraced former teammate, Floyd Landis.
Lance Armstrong is credited with bringing awareness to the global fight against cancer and ushering in a new era of professional cycling, performing at superhuman levels while deftly deflecting doping allegations like the late-race challenges of so many competitors.Skip to next paragraph
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Since turning professional in 1992 Armstrong has never tested positive for using performance enhancing drugs. But his unprecedented success – seven consecutive Tour de France wins – has made him the target of a constant barrage of doping allegations.
In the latest, Mr. Landis, a former teammate of Armstrong's, accuses him and longtime coach Johan Bruyneel of sophisticated cover-up schemes designed to keep them a step ahead of the International Cycling Union (UCI) and antidoping authorities.
Armstrong took time from a California stop on the cycling tour Thursday to dismiss the allegations, saying that Landis had changed his story many times and was not credible.
Landis is largely disgraced within the cycling community for being the first winner of the Tour de France to be stripped of his title for doping. He had spent $2 million trying to refute those doping allegations until recently. He told ESPN Wednesday that he was guilty and that he needed to clear his conscience. The Wall Street Journal published a fuller account of his confession Thursday.
This isn't the first time those close to Armstrong have been caught or admitted doping. In 2006, two former teammates of Armstrong's from the 1999 Tour de France came forward and said they had used banned endurance-enhancing drug EPO in the lead-up to that year's Tour, and felt pressured to do so by US Postal Service team for which they and Armstrong rode. [Editor's note: The original version had Armstrong riding for the wrong team.]
In that instance, World Anti-Doping Agency Chairman Dick Pound was quoted in the New York Times implying that Armstrong was also involved. "I think you have to draw one conclusion from that. It certainly indicates that there were a whole bunch of people around him using drugs," he said. "It doesn’t prove that he did anything, but you look all around him and everyone else is doing it, so what should you think?”