by Sarah Barber
Yesterday, Floyd Landis admitted to doping throughout his cycling career. Shocking? Puh-lease. Of course, he was doping throughout his cycling career. Why else would he have been the subject of investigations and accusations which ultimately led to the stripping of his 2006 Tour de France title?
Now, why he didn't admit it when he got busted four years ago is anyone's guess. At that time, he exhausted every resource possible in fighting the allegation that he had used synthetic testosterone to aid his Tour victory. He spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, not to mention draining time and support from medical experts. Even worse, he lied to friends, family, and fans, claiming he was innocent and that there were mistakes in testing procedures and blood sample identities that resulted in the accusation. But when someone convicted of a crime appeals, and the case goes to arbitration, and then the court of arbitration upholds the conviction, there's probably something to it.
In an interview with ESPN, Landis explained that his confession was motivated largely by a desire to "clear [his] conscience," though while clearing his own conscience, he implicated other professional cyclists as dopers, including Lance Armstrong.
While some scandals can drum up publicity for less mainstream sports like cycling, a scandal involving performance enhancement by illegal drugs is never good. And with the Amgen Tour of California at its mid-way point today, expect upheaval from fans, media, and even participants for the remainder of the week.