Thursday, July 27, 2006

Floyd Landis Caught Doping

After completing one of the greatest comebacks in Tour de France history to take the lead on the last day of competitive racing, Floyd Landis has been caught doping. In fairness to Landis, his backup sample has not been tested to confirm the abnormally high testosterone and epitestosterone results and the accuracy of cycling's drug testing methodologies have been questioned many times. Landis's comeback during the last mountain stage was truly inspiring. I would like to believe that Floyd Landis's performance came from his superior training and determination and I hope that somehow his test result proves to be a false positive.


At July 27, 2006 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the B sample comes back positive, which I imagine it will, then this is a great shame. It's unlikely the Tour winner would be named (albeit by his own team) if his A sample hadn't registered abnormally, abnormally high levels of testosterone. He could be the latest high-profile Phonak rider to test positive.

Of more concern, is the repurcussion this may have for Lance's reputation. Landis was one of Lance's most trusted allies as US Postal, and is now likely to join a growing list (which includes Roberto Heras and Tyler Hamilton) of former Lance allies who have tested positive following their departure from his team.

At July 27, 2006 11:27 AM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

On the other hand, the B sample may come back negative because testosterone is so easy to detect that I find it hard to believe that Landis would use it if he did decide to dope.

At July 27, 2006 7:01 PM, Anonymous Edward Lush said...

From CBS Sportsline:

"My immediate reaction was to look for the alcohol bottle," joked Landis, who's known to enjoy a beer while on the Tour and said he drank some whiskey with teammates the night before he staked his stunning comeback in the Alps."

Two points -

1. I am surprised that cyclists drink alcohol mid-way through the toughest part of what has been labelled the toughest sporting event on earth.

2. If true, is this not a major endorsement for the merits of drinking before major events in our lives? If so why has alcohol never had such a positive effect on me. I want to know what brand of whisky he drank ... then I'm going straight out and buying some!

At July 28, 2006 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cycled at a fairly high level. You'd be surprised at the number of riders who have great days after a night of getting drunk.

Any sport has stress, and athletes are highly motivated and driven people. Their desire to well in certain 'targeted' events can cause an internally motivated stress level that can often be the cause of failure. Sometimes going out and just getting drunk can completely alleviate that stress and result in athlete being able to do the performance they wanted - or needed.

Sounds stupid, I know, but its happened to almost every guy I know in cycling.

Landis' amazing comeback, wasn't really that amazing. His power data is fully published on and if you look at his data from the other mountain stages, and climbs you can see that what he did on the stage to morzine was just simply what he is capable of. The previous day to la toussiere , that day, whoa, look at the data, his power output on the final climb was horrible... basically any club rider in america could have climbed like that. He clearly had a bad day. And the next day he was just back to normal.

Getting drunk was 'prolly the best thing he could have done. It took the pressure off, let him decompress, let him forget about the 'tour' and 'being a pro athlete' and 'in the spotlight' for a few hours. I'm sure he slept like a baby that night, and woke up the next day ready to be motivated to do what he did.

At July 29, 2006 2:07 AM, Blogger Andrew Fife said...

that is an interesting point. Alcohol is known to severely damage the muscle recovery process. Yet, on the other hand being stressed out and unable to sleep may have a greater impact on performance when it means a difference of several hours of rest.


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