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Chasing The American Dream

August 08, 2006

SOMETHING’S ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF FRANCE


photo courtesy of foxsports.com

It certainly seems like the evidence against American cyclist hero Floyd Landis is overwhelming. Two drug test samples showing positive amounts of synthetic testosterone. Say it ain’t so! After the first test came back positive, Floyd’s team immediately fired him. He would be stripped of his yellow jersey and title of Champion of the Tour de France. Landis responded to the allegations by proclaiming his innocence. He went on record as being confident that his second test sample would come back negative. Well, test B came back with unfortunate results. Positive.

I think the results were shocking to those few who still believed Landis was innocent. I mean, this could easily be viewed as the biggest scandal in sports history. Or is it? I started thinking about it; a few things just don’t make sense to me. First, why in the world would he take performance enhancing drugs so late in the race? Sure he was exhausted and fell from the lead and was far back. And sure, he made a miraculous recovery during the stage in which his drug sample was taken from. But he had to know that he was going to be tested. He’d been tested something like eight times previously. What’s the point of taking the drugs if you know you’re going to be tested? Makes no sense. And then, why would he vehemently deny the drug results and proclaim his innocence fully knowing that there was a second specimen yet to be tested. Surely he knew that if he truly had taken some form of hormone, the second test would show the same results as the first one.

The whole thing just doesn’t add up. Cycling has had its share of doping scandals and I really believe we haven’t even begun to uncover the truth here. Yeah, I think what we have here is another Skategate scandal. Remember the 2002 Winter Olympic Games when the Canadian pair of Jamie Sale and David Pelletier were robbed of the gold by a corrupt French judge? I really think we’re gonna discover something similar.

I think Landis’ samples were tampered with by someone or some group that didn’t want to see an American win the Tour. And just yesterday, Landis came out once again and maintained his innocence. I’m backing Floyd. I believe him. I only hope we truly get to the bottom of this. It would be nice to clean up this sport just as it was done for ice skating. I’m tellin’ ya, you heard it hear first. There really is something rotten in the ‘state’ of France. Let’s hope our Floyd keeps the title he deserves. Champion.

11 Comments:

  • I hope you're right about Floyd's innocence. I want to believe it, too. I agree there's nothing rational about this. Every stage winner is tested, plus every rider is tested twice randomly during the Tour, so Floyd had to know that the odds were good he'd be caught. So I can't see it as a rational act.

    But that leaves a few explanations that are different from your "French Conspiracy" theory. It could be two false positives for natural reasons or as a result of other medication. The carbon isotope ratio test suggests that isn't the case, since it detected the presence of non-natural testosterone. But maybe that test is flawed too, as Floyd has claimed.

    Or it could be that Floyd got caught doing something irrational. Not all of our decisions are reasoned. Many are impulsive and made despite the certain consequences that must follow.

    I don't know. But I sure don't want him to be guilty. His riding throughout the Tour, and especially in the stage he won, was incredible, and among the most amazing and thrilling accomplishments I've ever seen. I really want those to be the accomplishments of an incredible man, overcoming incredible difficulties. I don't want them to be the result of some drug: like Barry Bond's home run record.

    By Anonymous EAO, at 6:49 AM, August 09, 2006  

  • You raise some good points, EAO. I hope the truth comes out, whatever it may be.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 7:30 AM, August 09, 2006  

  • I would just like to say: French judge or not, Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze were the better pair (yes, even with his slight mistake on the side-by-side jump) and deserved the gold medal.

    That's all.

    Back to Landis.

    By Blogger A, at 8:19 AM, August 09, 2006  

  • I never want to believe doping charges, because it taints the sport so much. Either Landis is delusional and is lying so much he believes it himself, or someone is setting him up quite lovely. I hope it's the latter.

    By Blogger Cheetarah1980, at 10:02 AM, August 09, 2006  

  • I respectfully disagree A. The Canadian pair skated a much cleaner and spirited program. The Russians were boring. Cheetarah, I hope Landis isn't delusional.

    By Blogger Plantation, at 12:43 AM, August 10, 2006  

  • I understand why you say that, PT. The Canadian program was much more North American friendly. It was easier for the non-skater to like that program better. No doubt in my mind.

    But Sale and Pelletier were skating to an old program that was a very literal translation of a movie. Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze skated to Meditation from the opera Thais. Much, much more artistically challenging. Trust me on that one.

    By Blogger A, at 6:57 AM, August 10, 2006  

  • LOL, I'm challenging an expert skater who can actually spell Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze. Obviously, I'm over my head in this debate, but I'll offer one last comment. Isn't skating judged not only in artistic elements but technical as well? Plus, I seem to recall the Russians (I'll leave the spelling to you) simply going thru the motions. Now, aren't you glad you found someone who can debate olympic skating with you?

    By Blogger Plantation, at 7:13 AM, August 10, 2006  

  • Personally, I wouldn’t say that Berezhnaya and Sikharulidze just went through the motions; I would say that their program required a different type of artistry. More subtle.

    And, yes, in both the new system and the old system, skaters are judged on technical and artistic elements.

    Here’s the kicker (and what, originally gave the Russians the gold medal): in the old judging system, the artistic mark was the tiebreaker.

    Is all painfully subjective.

    I totally love that you know enough about skating to debate this with me, dude!

    By Blogger A, at 12:22 PM, August 10, 2006  

  • Hey, as a Canadian, thanks for supporting our skating team! They are our heroes and squeaky clean!
    And, yes, we were shamed by Ben Johnson and I'm appalled that he is making money from that recent TV ad for "Cheetah"!

    I would love to see your cyclist proved clean. He did say he took a beer, (or was it water?) from someone the night before, so who knows? But it's always athlete beware on such things. If he truly took something, he and his coaches would have tried masking agents that they thought would work but didn't.
    There is no easy answers to this problem since we're so advanced in the trickery-outsmarting aspect, that they'll never make it a level playing field.
    Maybe it was the our purest competition back in Greece in the very beginning!

    (Weird but your word verification spelled, "NOFAIR"!!

    By Blogger Mother of Invention, at 7:24 AM, August 11, 2006  

  • The whole thing is a sorry mess. Remember last year when an obscure French lab popped up from nowhere to accuse Lance Armstrong of doping? Charges that were eventually disproved?

    I'll never forget what Lance said to Larry King in response. Aside from the fact that cycling is the most tested sport of all, why, after battling prostrate, lung and brain cancer, would he do such a thing to his body? Can't help but question why his former teammate, Floyd Landis, would even consider doping after watching Lance's struggles, never mind the scandal that erupted right before this year's Tour de France. Frankly, it's hard to believe anyone would be that dumb -- even if Landis's response that his body naturally produces high levels of testosterone sounded a bit lame.

    See:

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/08/04/sports/lab.php

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13499281/

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 1:20 PM, August 13, 2006  

  • Just seems to me that if they (the French or anyone) were going to mess with someone like this, they would have done so with Lance last year or the year before and not with Floyd this year.

    Has anyone researched/produced any evidence of how the metabolites of the cortisone injections Landis had may have manifested themselves relative to his sample test results?

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for sure.

    By Blogger Ami, at 2:32 PM, August 18, 2006  

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