SINCE HE WAS stripped of the Tour de France title which he won in 2006, Floyd Landis seems to have taken it on himself to become the poster boy of cycling’s anti-doping crusade.
In a series of interviews with the Wall Street Journal last year, the disgraced cyclist accused his former team-mates on the US Postal team – including Lance Armstrong – of blood doping and other illegal practices.
Now, in an extensive TV interview with Graham Bensinger, Landis has resumed his attack on Armstrong while casting the pall of suspicion on Alberto Contador as well.
Contador, three-time winner of the Tour, tested positive for clenbuterol during last year’s race, though the conviction was quashed on appeal by the Spanish Cycling Federation. The Court of Arbirtration for Sport (CAS) is still considering the Spaniard’s case after it was referred to them by the UCI, cycling’s governing body.
When asked about the likelihood that Contador used illegal drugs to win his Tour titles, Landis said “I can’t give you a statistical likelihood,” before adding “but I know for sure that his coach is my previous drug dealer.”
Returning to the more familiar topic of Armstrong, Landis branded him “a bully” with “a sense of entitlement that defies any kind of reason.”
He’s been on top so long. Since he was 16 or 17, he’s been royalty in the sport…
The difference between Armstrong and I is he got satisfaction out of making people lose. He likes to see people lose. I got satisfaction out of winning and it didn’t really have anything else to do with other people.
And, once again, Landis raised the issue of a drug test which Armstrong is alleged to have failed in 2001, accusing his one-time colleague of paying off the UCI to drop any charges against him.
“He [Armstrong] went on to tell me a story about how, in 2001 at the Tour of Switzerland, he tested positive for EPO,” Landis said.
“And that [UCI President Hein] Verbruggen had called him and they had gotten together and had a meeting with the lab and with Verbruggen … and that they had made it go away. They had paid them off.
“There has been some debate about the amount that they paid them, but UCI claims that the payments were a donation.
Watch Landis’ interview with Graham Bensinger in full here.