^
Keep Westword Free
4
| News |

Lance Armstrong a doper? Boulder's Floyd Landis says "yes"

One of the most persistent rumors in cycling involves seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong's alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs -- the kind he didn't use to get his Colorado girlfriend pregnant despite his previous case of testicular cancer.

Now, the charge has some new pedal power thanks to Boulder's Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France championship after failing a drug test. In recent weeks, according to the Wall Street Journal, Landis sent e-mails to officials with USA Cycling and the International Cycling Union, among others, in which he reportedly admitted to his own drug use.

Landis also pointed the finger of blame at others, including Armstrong, who he credited with being a sort of doping sensei. Here's a key section of the piece:

In one of the e-mails, dated April 30 and addressed to Stephen Johnson, the president of USA Cycling, Mr. Landis said that Mr. Armstrong's longtime coach, Johan Bruyneel, introduced Mr. Landis to the use of steroid patches, blood doping and human growth hormone in 2002 and 2003, his first two years on the U.S. Postal Service team. He alleged Mr. Armstrong helped him understand the way the drugs worked. "He and I had lengthy discussions about it on our training rides during which time he also explained to me the evolution of EPO testing and how transfusions were now necessary due to the inconvenience of the new test," Mr. Landis claimed in the e-mail. He claimed he was instructed by Mr. Bruyneel how to use synthetic EPO and steroids and how to carry out blood transfusions that doping officials wouldn't be able to detect. Mr. Bruyneel and Mr. Johnson could not be reached for comment.

In the same email, Mr. Landis wrote that after breaking his hip in 2003, he flew to Girona, Spain -- a training hub for American riders -- and had two half-liter units of blood extracted from his body in three-week intervals to be used later during the Tour de France. The extraction, Mr. Landis claimed, took place in Mr. Armstrong's apartment, where blood bags belonging to Mr. Armstrong and his then-teammate George Hincapie were kept in a refrigerator in Mr. Armstrong's closet. Mr. Landis said he was asked to check the temperature of the blood daily. According to Mr. Landis, Mr. Armstrong left for a few weeks and asked Mr. Landis to make sure the electricity didn't go off and ruin the blood. George Hincapie, through a spokesman, denied the allegations.

Neither Landis nor Armstrong commented for the Journal report -- and it's important to note that this is simply one man's word against another's at this point. Nonetheless, Armstrong, a part-time Aspen resident who recently bought a piece of a Steamboat Springs nutritional foods business, Honey Stinger, once again finds himself the target of questions he probably would rather not address.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.

 

Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.