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Landis Stripped of Tour Title after Confirmation of Doping

Floyd Landis has been stripped of his Tour de France victory and fired by his team after a second test confirmed that he had synthetic testosterone in his system.

Floyd Landis was fired by his team and the Tour de France no longer considered him its champion after his second doping sample tested positive Saturday for higher-than-allowed levels of testosterone. The second or “B” sample, “confirmed the result of an adverse analytical finding” in the “A” sample, the International Cycling Union said.

The Swiss-based team Phonak immediately severed ties with Landis and the UCI said it would ask USA Cycling to open disciplinary proceedings against him. “Landis will be dismissed without notice for violating the teams internal Code of Ethics,” Phonak said in a statement. “Landis will continue to have legal options to contest the findings. However, this will be his personal affair, and the Phonak team will no longer be involved in that.”

Given the politics of international sports and the inherent corruption in the system, we’ll never know for sure whether Landis was legitimately dirty or was set up. Still, owing proof of the latter, the reasonable bet is the former. Truly disgraceful.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. The Knucklehead of the Day award…

    Today’s winner is Floyd Landis….

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  2. Skul says:

    Naturally this will now be used by the freaks to smear and discredit Lance Armstrong. I expect the first smear to come on Monday.

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  3. Anderson says:

    If he *was* set up, (1) the conspiracy would have to involve several persons, and (2) one of those will eventually opt for the attention & cash from a tell-all interview somewhere outside French jurisdiction.

    On NPR’s Marketplace, I heard the # 2 finisher quoted as saying that Landis legitimately outperformed everyone else, & as far as he was concerned, that made Landis # 1 whatever the “bureaucracy” said.

    It sure seems to be the case that all the top racers use these drugs, and that some (like Armstrong?) are just better at not getting caught. The argument for throwing it open to whatever drugs are thought to be helpful is not a bad one.

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  4. Steve Verdon says:

    Wow am I disappointed. I didn’t want this to be true, but the chances that both samples were contaminated is very unlikely. I know some are pushing a conspiracy against American cyclists, but I’m just not buying it.

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  5. DaveD says:

    Considering all the hype prior to this race of riders being disqualified for likely use of banned medications, I am surprised that Landis would fall prey to this. Do any of you know how long after medicating oneself these steroids remain in the body at sufficient levels to register on these urine tests?

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  6. I know how the evidence looks, but I still can’t get past the fact that I find it extremely suspicious. I mean, why would someone do something so blatantly obvious???

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  7. Anderson says:

    why would someone do something so blatantly obvious???

    The suggestion I heard on NPR is the belief that everyone’s doing it, so that you’re basically writing yourself off if you abstain.

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  8. just me says:

    This is sad, but I think I agree with NRO, I suspect that a good portion of racers are dirty. It seems to be pretty common for any type of endurance sport.

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  9. floyd says:

    james;as you say “we’ll never know”. but in view of the constant assault on lemond & armstrong as well as the “blind eye” to french riders indescretions. i’ll believe it when landis says it is so. his veracity is clearly superior to that of his accusors.

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  10. James Joyner says:

    Floyd: But, smears aside, the French let the hated Lance Armstrong walk away with 7 Tour titles. Why not trick up his results rather than a previous unknown’s?

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  11. The thing that puzzles me is that he’s only “not clean” on 1 of 8 or 9 samples over the course of the tour for a performance enhancing drug that simply doesn’t work in 24 hours.

    Then again, the whole concept of “Type I error” seems to fly over the head of the doping police, so what do I know?

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  12. Mac says:

    smears aside, the French let the hated Lance Armstrong walk away with 7 Tour titles. Why not trick up his results rather than a previous unknown’s?

    The French didn’t “let” Armstrong “walk away” with anything.

    They continually accused him of doping and spent years trying to smear his record and plant doubt as to his legitimacy.

    Not a win went by that they didn’t “suggest” that the only reason he won “their” tour was because he was doping.

    Then you have that jealous and bitter has-been Lemond running his mouth screaming that Armstrong had to be doping in order to perform at his levels.

    They are STILL trying to strip Armstrong of his titles and convince the world he’s guilty of doping. It STILL HASN’T STOPPED.

    The French didn’t let hem “walk away” with anything.

    Read the link below.

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2005/aug05/aug23news3

    mac
    http://www.brownsludge.com

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  13. James Joyner says:

    Mac:

    Yep, that’s the smear campaign I referenced. Still, at the end of the day, Lance tested clean every time. Landis came up dirty on both samples for his most recent ride.

    So, either the French are stepping up their campaign to the point of planting evidence–which, presumably, would kill the Tour de France as a legitimate sporting event if found–or Landis was actually doping. The only reason I hesistate at all is just that it makes no sense to me for him to have cheated only the last stage of the Tour knowing there was testing in place.

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