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Floyd Landis admits doping to clear his conscience, implicates Lance Armstrong

American cyclist Floyd Landis comes clean about use of banned drugs to clear his conscience. Landis lost his 2006 Tour de France title on doping charges and spent $2 million in vain to clear his name. He says other cyclists doped too, including Lance Armstrong.

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Le Monde also noted that Landis had gone after France’s prominent Châtenay-Malabry lab for giving him a false positive in 2006. In February, the paper said, French judge Thomas Cassuto had sought an arrest warrant against Landis, whom he suspected of having tried to hack the information system of the lab.

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Landis recognizes that he has little credibility after his own denials, he told ESPN.

Landis still denies 2006 test

Ironically, Landis says the 2006 test for synthetic testosterone that cost him the Tour de France title was wrong – he had not used that drug that season. He engaged the services of Los Angeles-area attorney Howard Jacobs, a sort of Perry Mason for top-tier athletes accused of doping.

In a lengthy interview with the Monitor shortly after Landis lost his appeal in 2008, Jacobs criticized the global antidoping system as one that ensnared innocent athletes as well as those who had doped. He did not discuss Landis’s case in any detail, but pointed to others, such as skeleton athlete Zach Lund, who returned to the Olympics this year after being kicked out of the 2006 Olympic village for a steroid found in his antibalding treatment. Lund was ranked No. 1 in the world at the time.

The fact that Landis was able to use such a broad range of drugs over four years, together with the travails of athletes such as Lund, has led some top antidoping scientists to conclude the current regime is ineffective.

“I’ve always felt that we put too much emphasis on dirty athletes and too much money into finding the last little molecule of some abstruse drug somewhere,” Dr. Don Catlin, a pioneer of antidoping, told the Monitor in 2008.

As we wrote at the time, he’s been fine-tuning his “Volunteer Program” for the past decade.

It would turn the tables on doping, putting the onus on athletes to prove they’re clean rather than on scientists to prove they’re dirty. Athletes would be tested often, yielding a biological profile. Over time, if testing revealed a spike in values that the athlete could not explain, he or she would be dropped from the program.

“Can we achieve it with what we’re trying to do?” asked Catlin at his Anti-Doping Research outfit in Los Angeles. “I’m not sure, but I hope so. I’ve built my life on it.”



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