The end for cycling?

Barely a year goes by without the sport of cycling having some stinking fresh drug scandal plonked under its nose. This time it’s Floyd Landis who has come out smelling of manure and EPO, finally admitting after four years of trying to clear his name that he had been a drug cheat for almost the entirety of his professional cycling career, shockingly fingering legend Lance Armstrong as a fellow cheat in the process.

The revelations come after Landis admitted to ESPN.com that he had extensively used red blood cell booster EPO, testosterone, female hormones, human growth hormone and blood transfusions, as well as once trying out insulin, while he rode for the U.S Postal Service and Phonak teams, including while he held the 2006 Tour De France title.

‘I want to clear my conscience,’ Landis said. ‘I don't want to be part of the problem anymore. With the benefit of hindsight and a somewhat different perspective, I made some misjudgments. And of course, I can sit here and say all day long, ‘If I could do it again I'd do something different,’ but I just don't have that choice.’

‘I don't feel guilty at all about having doped. I did what I did because that's what we [cyclists] did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there; and that was a decision I had to make to make the next step. My choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don't do it and I tell people I just don't want to do that, and I decided to do it.’

Landis claimed in one email seen by the Wall Street Journal, dated 30 April, that Armstrong’s long-time coach Johan Bruyneel introduced him to blood-doping in 2002 and 2003, and that Armstrong then helped him understand how the drugs worked. However, apart from the allegations in his emails, he has not offered any cast-iron proof that the seven-time Tour winner cheated.

‘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.’

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