Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lance Armstrong and Le Tour de France

I confess that Lance Armstrong is my all time sporting hero. Anybody who can win Le Tour de France seven times is a sporting genius, to do it after beating testicular cancer puts him up there with the Gods. On top of that he must be the most drug tested sportsman on the planet, but every test he has had has been negative.

But now drug cheat Floyd Landis, who won Le Tour in 2006 but became the first winner to be stripped of the title after testing positive, is pointing the finger, yet again, at Lance. This after it took Landis four years of wasting millions of dollars trying to clear his name before finally admitting that he actually is a drug cheat. The story appeared in today's Sunday Times.

I'm not a great one for conspiracy theories but Le Tour kicks off in a few weeks and there are high hopes that Britain's impact on this year's Tour could be groundbreaking. Bradley Wiggins is riding for the newly formed British outfit Team Sky with millions of pounds and some of cyclings finest coaches, riders and technicians we all hope that they will provide a British winner, if not this year then pretty soon.

Lance was on the podium last year when he came back, pretty under-prepared, from retirement. Surely Sky/Sunday Times wouldn't be involved in a dirty tricks campaign against Lance Armstrong. Would they?

The following is taken from a statement released by Lance's team, Team RadioShack:

"When no one in cycling capitulated to his numerous but persistent false threats, demands and rants, Floyd Landis publicly aired the false and incredible concoctions he has been privately making for years.

"In levelling these false and baseless accusations, Landis provided selected emails to multiple journalists in connection with his public statements on Wednesday evening. What was not conveyed were descriptions of the threatening text messages from Landis to others, including Lance Armstrong, that began more than two years ago.

"Most recently, and it was no coincidence that shortly after Landis was informed he and his team were unable to enter and compete in the 2010 Tour of California, Landis and his team owner sent emails to a variety of parties, including Amgen, the race sponsor, and to the president of Trek Bicycle, an Armstrong and RadioShack corporate sponsor.

"Landis later communicated directly with Armstrong and threatened to ‘say directly that I’m going to accuse you and our former team mates of using blood doping and performance enhancing drugs to help you to win the three Tours de France in which we raced together’. Armstrong’s response to Landis was identical to the responses to the same type of threatening text messages received from Landis two years ago — there would be no consideration, money, team positions or anything else given in exchange for not airing false accusations.

"The public has taken them for what they are worth — absolutely nothing."

Why not visit Lance Amstrong's charitable foundation Livestrong

For what it's worth I would love to see Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins as joint winners this year!! OK, we can all dream.

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