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Landis Claims Innocence, Blasts Leaks Of Testing Results
Published August 7, 2006
|Landis Lashes Out At UCI, WADA
Officials For Leaking Test Results
FIX THE LEAK: Landis also “lashed out at officials” from the Int’l Cycling Union (UCI) and WADA “for giving information on his case to the media while not providing him with reports on his test results.” Landis: “I just got the information on the A sample a day-and-a-half ago. I had to find out about the B from reading it in the media.” Landis “pointed out that American sprinter Justin Gatlin’s positive A test for an illegal testosterone ratio was not announced by track and field officials for three months.” Landis said that the “biggest mistake he [made] was responding to media reports as they surfaced, giving the impression he was coming up with new excuses daily.” But he added, “There’s some kind of agenda there. I just don’t know what it is” (Sal Ruibal, USA TODAY, 8/7).
TWO OPINIONS: OLN cycling analyst Phil Liggett “still believes Landis did not cheat and called for the French lab conducting the test to be decertified by the [UCI] for repeated violations of confidentiality protocol.” Liggett, citing leaks to French newspaper L’Equipe around Landis and Lance Armstrong, said, “The lab has proven it’s very unethical in the way it does its testing” (PALM BEACH POST, 8/6). But former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond said, “I doubt very much that (Landis is) going to win an appeal. It’s pretty black and white. ... This is going to be a hard one to make an excuse for.” More LeMond: “This conspiracy theory of the Europeans against the Americans (is unwarranted). ... They’re very ethical” (“Nightly News,” NBC, 8/5).
ROGGE SUPPORTS UCI: IOC President Jacques Rogge, before reports of Landis’ positive “B” sample surfaced, rose “to the defense” of the UCI, “which he says is one of the federations ‘doing as much as they can’ to fight doping.” Rogge noted that UCI “supplied information to Spanish authorities [which] led to a number of top riders being banned from the Tour de France.” Rogge: “It would be wrong to throw the baby with the bathwater” (AROUND THE RINGS, 8/5 issue).
|Phonak Severs Ties With Landis
Following Results Of “B” Sample Test
EFFECTS ON CYCLING: OLN commentator Frankie Andreu said the sport of cycling “is in as big a mess as it’s ever been. It’s not up to the Tour or anyone else to clean up cycling. It’s up to the riders. They are killing the sport by cheating, and it takes away from sponsors and fans who want to be involved” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6). More Andreu, on Landis’ story: “This is more than a blemish. It’s a major stain. The Tour will survive. Other races will go on. The sport won’t come to a screeching halt. But I don’t know how it’s going to bring in new sponsors” (Portland OREGONIAN, 8/6). Liggett: “There are one or two races that I knew were being planned that I think might be scrapped because it’s too close to the controversy and it might be reintroduced in one or two years’ time. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the sport has probably dropped back one or two seasons” (PALM BEACH POST, 8/6).
REAX FROM PRINT: In N.Y., George Vecsey: “Cycling has become professional wrestling. ... It’s hard to imagine why reputable companies continue to sponsor cycling for the purpose of publicity” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/6). But in San Jose, Ann Killion wrote, “Can cycling recover? Maybe, but it will take a while. ... Still, the Tour de France is epic and enthralling and won’t turn into pro wresting overnight” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 8/6). A USA TODAY editorial states, “Punishing athletes alone doesn’t seem to work; trainers, coaches, owners, managers, sponsors and other enablers should also be held accountable” (USA TODAY, 8/7).
DRUG CULTURE: In Miami, Greg Cote wrote, “We have reached a place in sports where we understand with some regret that almost any feel-good story — any unlikely hero or great accomplishment — is subject to scrutiny and skepticism, pending the next test result” (MIAMI HERALD, 8/6). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy wrote while Landis could be telling the truth, “Five years ago, we might have bought his excuses and insistence of innocence. Not now. The liars and cheaters have worn us down” (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/6). In Chicago, Jay Mariotti: “Because so many athletes are using steroids despite the investigations and publicity risks, they have cast aspersions over the innocent who never have used juice. No one can be trusted anymore” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/7).