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.
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Armstrong has vehemently denied all accusations that he took performance enhancing drugs at any time in his career, and has gone to court to defend his name. In 2004, "L.A. Confidentiel," a book published in France by sportswriters Pierre Ballester and David Walsh, used testimony from a former masseuse of Armstrong's to allege that he had taken performance enhancing drugs.Skip to next paragraph
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Armstrong sued unsuccessfully to have a denial inserted in the book and filed a libel suit against Britain's Sunday Times when it reprinted portions of it, eventually settling with the newspaper out of court. The same year, Armstrong's cut ties with Italian doctor Michele Ferrari after he was implicated in doping allegations which were later dropped.
I have "zero tolerance for anyone convicted of using or facilitating the use of performance-enhancing drugs," Armstrong said at the time.
Landis's new allegations published in the Wall Street Journal – that Armstrong helped teach him the doping ropes in professional cycling – are some of the most high-profile Armstrong has faced, but they come without evidence, and from a figure widely discredited in the cycling community.
“[Landis] already made those accusations in the past,” UCI chairman Pat McQuaid told the AP. “Armstrong has been accused many times in the past but nothing has been proved against him. And in this case, I have to question the guy’s credibility. There is no proof of what he says. We are speaking about a guy who has been condemned for doping before a court.”
From the Tour of California Thursday, Armstrong and Mr. Bruyneel downplayed Landis's allegations and questioned his character. "This is a man that has been [under] oath several times.… This is somebody that wrote a book, under a different premise…. The story changes," Armstrong said. The allegations are "not even worth getting into," he said, adding, "I think his story speaks for itself."
Bruyneel questioned the timing of the Journal story's release. Landis "finally found somebody who wanted to write this story," Bruyneel said, adding that the e-mails had been circling for weeks and that Landis and his current team had been fighting to get into the Tour of California. "Coming from Floyd," Bruyneel said, "it's no surprise."
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