Thursday, May 20, 2010

The sorry "end" to the Floyd Landis case

It's once again a sad reminder of how the mighty fall, and so terribly. Floyd Landis, one time winner of the Tour de France, after being stripped of his medal, launching a widely publicized legal defense fund, publishing a book to argue his innocence, losing his appeal, and then being served a warrant for computer hacking (I'm sure I missed something)- is now admitting publicly and in detail that he has used performance enhancing drugs through much of his career, including the Tour. But he is not stopping there. 
He has volunteered full cooperation in the investigation of nearly every big name biker that he rode with. He is accusing Lance, Levi, Hincapie, and others of blatant drug use including one instance in which a team bus pulled to the side of the road on a remote mountain road and feigned engine trouble while the whole team received blood transfusions.

I want to view Flandis' full disclosure as an attempt at doing good for the sport. Someone and something needs to give. But he needs to understand it cannot be him. There is so little sympathy for him from any corner that reactions will be sufficient to render doing anything about it impossible. Far more powerful would have been an honest and contrite admission of guilt, without any back door excuses, to burn the conscience of the collective sport. 

This news hits an additional nerve because of my wife, who is Mennonite. Landis' family are Mennonites and many people in this tight knit community were still arguing for his innocence. 

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