Lance Armstrong's accuser: Who is Floyd Landis?
Floyd Landis won the 2006 Tour de France but was stripped of his title after doping revelations. Now, he’s admitting to using banned drugs – and saying that Lance Armstrong did, too.
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“To me, the overwhelming issue of importance here is a very well-known senior member of the cycling community with one Tour de France win under his belt decides to come to clean,” he says. “It would be nice if Floyd’s confession could bring new ones.”Skip to next paragraph
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Landis has never been afraid to blaze new ground, pressing hard where others may have given up.
He is the son of devout Mennonite parents and hails from Farmersville, Pa., a hamlet of 200. There, some hardy farmers still use a horse and buggy to bring their geraniums and strawberries to the produce auction on Tuesdays and Thursdays. His parents drive a car, but on nice days neighbors see them riding their bikes to church five miles away.
They weren’t always so enthusiastic about cycling. As a kid, Landis circumvented his dad’s disapproval by riding late at night, in secret. That persistence was still there when later in his career, he finished a race on just his rims. Even his disgraced Tour performance, in which he rebounded after a disastrous day, showed an impressive grit that can’t just be chalked up to a stimulant.
But the fierce determination to clear his name at any cost, selling a book that now appears to be fradulent, soliciting donations for his legal fund, and then admitting he was lying the whole time, has disappointed many – not least of all those back home in Pennsylvania.
“What a poor testimony for the Mennonites,” says Edna, a former neighbor who has lived in the area for 50 years and asked that her last name not be used. “But the Bible says the Lord will always forgive if you confess.”
Landis made his confessions in a series of e-mails to cycling officials and sponsors, followed by a telephone interview with ESPN. But Dr. Catlin, who says he believed Landis to be guilty during his appeal hearing in Malibu, Calif., two years ago, seeks a direct apology to the public.
“I knew in my heart that he was lying. I know the case. I knew the lab had the goods,” says Catlin, reached Thursday afternoon at his Anti-Doping Research office in Los Angeles. “I’d like to see him go on television and look into the eyes of the world and say, ‘Yeah, I doped, and this is what I did.'
“Maybe it’s coming tomorrow,” he adds.
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