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Will Floyd Landis Take Lance Armstrong Down With Him?

2006 Tour de France winner Floyd Landis of the US waves the US flag as he rides down the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris following the final stage of the 93rd Tour de France cycling race between Antony, south of Paris, and Paris, in this Sunday, July 23, 2006 file photo. (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski) AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski

floyd landis and lance armstrong
Floyd Landis wins 2006 Tour de France (AP Photo/Bas Czerwinski) / Lance Armstrong (Twitpic).
NEW YORK (CBS/AP) It's getting hard to figure out which Floyd Landis is telling the truth.

After being stripped of his Tour de France title for doping in 2006, Landis insisted that he never touched performance enhancing drugs. He fought the racing league in court, lost and still professed his innocence.

Now, four years later, Landis says he was doing drugs since 2002 and guess who with... none other than Lance Armstrong.

The Wall Street Journal and ESPN broke the story.

In the ESPN.com interview, Landis detailed extensive use of the blood-boosting drug EPO, testosterone, human growth hormone and blood transfusions, as well as female hormones and a one-time experiment with insulin. He said the doping occurred during the years he rode for the U.S. Postal Service and Swiss-based Phonak teams.

He also detailed his wrongs in emails allegedly sent to cycling officials and seen by the Wall Street Journal.

In one of messages dated April 30, Landis said he flew to Girona, Spain, in 2003 and had two half-liter units of blood extracted from his body in a three-week interval to be used later during the Tour de France.

According to the paper, Landis claimed the blood extractions took place in Armstrong's apartment. He said blood bags belonging to Armstrong and then-teammate George Hincapie were kept in a refrigerator in Armstrong's closet and Landis was asked to check the temperature of the blood daily.

When Armstrong left for a few weeks, he asked Landis to "make sure the electricity didn't go off and ruin the blood," according to the e-mail quoted by the Journal.

Armstrong has been dogged by doping accusations before and has vehemently denied them.

UCI president Pat McQuaid questioned Landis' credibility in a telephone interview Thursday with The Associated Press.

"What's his agenda?" McQuaid said. "The guys is seeking revenge. It's sad, it's sad for cycling. It's obvious he does hold a grudge."

Landis served a two-year ban after testing positive for elevated testosterone levels at the 2006 Tour. He was the first rider stripped of a Tour de France title.

Landis also accused American riders Levi Leipheimer and Dave Zabriskie and Armstrong's longtime coach, Johan Bruyneel, of involvement in doping, the Journal reported.

Armstrong is currently competing in the Tour of California and couldn't be reached for comment. Neither could Bruyneel, Leipheimer or Zabriskie.

Why is Landis coming clean now?

"I want to clear my conscience," Landis told ESPN.com. "I don't want to be part of the problem any more."

He also said he was speaking out now in part because the World Anti-Doping Agency's eight-year statute of limitations was close to running out.

"If I don't say something now then it's pointless to ever say it," Landis said.

He told ESPN.com that his most difficult phone call was to his mother to tell her the truth for the first time. His parents, devout Mennonites, had always defended their son against doping accusations.

More at ESPN and the Wall Street Journal.


  • Neil Katz

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