**disclaimer. opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. including me, on both counts**
external. fame. fortune. accomplishment. expectation. all of this is part of our culture. doing whatever you have to do to be good at something, no matter what the cost. falling in line with the status quo, just to even the playing field. the goal of most rules are initially set to even up competition and make it fair. take competition and add money to it, fame and external accomplishment and suddenly you have folks who will bring greed into the picture.
the thing about his latest revelations. is he the jose canseco of cycling?
floyd went from someone whom had never even won a stage in a grand tour to suddenly winning the inaugural tour of california, tour of georgia, paris nice and tour de france in the first 6 months after lance retired from cycling. he had a front row seat with which to watch lance grow into the enigma and superstar that he continues to be today. he trained with him. he rode with him. he saw the single minded focus that years of methodical preparation which led to winning a single race every summer. lance didn't dominate all season long. landis did. landis knew there was a short window of opportunity to claim the throne within the cycling world, and he was certainly willing to do whatever to accomplish it. well, he did. it was certainly no secret and pretty obvious to those who have been around the sport for a long time. mission quickly accomplished, and as quickly as he rose, he fell.
cheating. when money and fame are involved will always be a part of the culture of any sport. barry bonds doped because he was jealous of mcgwire and sosa. marion jones doped because she didn't want to be an epic marketing failure like dan and dave were a few years prior.
is there doping in the pro tour? sure. it may even be that all of them are cheating on some level just to be able to ride on an even playing field. it may be that some teams are totally clean and have to fight to keep sponsors and gain exposure every year because they are losing races to cheaters. in all cases, within all sports, it overshadows those who play the games of their sports without cheating. the fine line between medicinal enhancement for injured athletes and using doping products to cheat is certainy very close. i will never forget seeing the first 5 rows of the pro field at sea otter all take huge puffs from an inhaler when they called out 30 seconds to go before the start. all of them seemingly suffering from asthma or allergies, etc. really? in full view, nobody asked questions.
the flip side to this is that floyd has been riding for 30K this year. he's broke. he can't afford to pay the 90K a year it takes to maintain a proper doping program on all levels. so he's "clearing his conscious" simply because he can't afford to dope anymore. he can't afford to level the playing field and he's been black balled by most of the pro tour teams because they can't risk not being invited to events for having a doper on their roster. with a few exceptions, most of them don't make it back to the pro tour. maybe that same ego that prompted him to cheat in the first place is now spurring this conscious cleaning. i wonder how much his agent is asking for interviews, articles, etc. i read this morning that espn paid 100K for the rights to break the story. what's next? vanity fair? oprah? the timing is sure curious given that the only stage race we have here in the united states is going on right now and landis is not taking part this year.
sadly. it may be that most or all of what he is saying is true. just like jose canseco a few years ago. but like he has admitted, he doesn't have documentation or evidence to back it up. it's going to be his word against "theirs". how can you know so much and not have any proof. if he ran his own doping program with phonak, you would think he would at least be able to provide evidence and proof of his own doping. he seems reluctant to do that unless he can take others down with him. does this sound like someone who is doing it to clear his conscious? or does it sound like someone who's ego just simply can't shout down the demons in his head. who knows. i guess we'll see.
either way. sport suffers. there are no winners in this deal. never have been. i'll part with this question to consider. notice how floyd only listed current, active american riders as people he claimed also doped. yet, he say's that the statute of limitations are part of why his conscious is so overwhelmed. no mention of tyler, who was also on that us postal and phonak team. also, no mention of his foreign team mates on either squad. makes you wonder what is really behind all of this.
**late edit: turns out he has accused his foreign team mates. here is a reported transcript of his emails that he sent out.