Floyd is innocent

Do you remember how last summer Floyd Landis, that Mennonite boy who won the 2006 Tour de France, was found guilty of a positive doping test, after he won the race?

His defense team has produced a very convincing argument that poked such huge holes in the testing process, it"s unbelievable.

Still the organization in charge refuses to accept the evidence.

Landis" team found that:
The positivity criteria was not met
The sample was actually mislabeled, and the testing lab failed in it"s own strict procedures.
The specimen was so contaminated/degraded that by the lab"s own criteria, it was untestable.

(Read it for yourself here.)

We should see the same media frenzy over this that we saw over the possibility of a positive test for him. But we don"t.

I"m not that big a bike racing fan, but I am big on injustice. (Besides, some of my best friends ride bikes)

Dick Pound, the WADA, the USADA, and the testing lab need to step up and own their mistakes.
Maybe they can still salvage some respect for themselves and the sport, if they start dealing honestly about these things


  1. Thank you Randall. I was in France and have followed both the Tour and Floyd. Thanks for raising this. I hope he is cleared completely.

  2. Dope testing is a very thorny issue for cyclists, not least because doping has been going on for a very long time. There was a guy called Tom Simpson, who died using amphetamines in the 60s. I doubt drug taking was new, even then.

    There are subtle issues too, with problems of both responsibility and insurance, not to mention the ethics of destroying someone's career due to poor procedure. Ideally Dope testing would be run like a decent clinical diagnostics business, however it seems to operate in a shady, marginal fashion. Lessons have still not been learned from the whole Diane Modal affair.

    I've had just a tiny brush professionally with WADA, and at the moment their emphasis is on the test manufacturer taking full responsibility for the results. That's how the trend is going for diagnostics generally, but most diagnostics labs seem to work to a higher standard than those testing for doping. A corporate decision was taken not to work with WADA, and I believe it was for the best.

    There's also a side of me that says "let them use all the drugs they want and see what a human body can really do". I'm sure it would cause all sorts of problems in middle age, and many would not make it to retirement, but at least users could be monitored properly. After all, we still tolerate sports that are know to cause brain damage and early deaths, like boxing. Life is more than simply living a long time. This would never fly as many would follow Simpsons example, but it is food for thought.

    As for Floyd, I suspect he probably was guilty, but I've no firm information either way. However proving him 'innocent' legally must be better for the sport than finding him guilty. I think road racing as a sport, just like football, would benefit from a massive withdrawal of sponsorship to reduce the financial incentives to cheat. Guess there's little chance of returning to the days of 'amateur' athletics.

  3. It's unfortunate that the media often covers only the one side of the story and that's all people hear or remember.


I'm moderating all the comments these days.