Archive for May, 2010
I swear by almighty…the whole truth and nothing but the truth
I have just ploughed through the many e mails between Landis, Armstrong and various others and it was heavy going so I won’t inflict them on you. One thing’s for sure Armstrong is talking bollocks in claiming that Landis was attempting blackmail. There is nothing to support this allegation.
Below is the essence of the e mail that Floyd Landis sent to Steve Johnson, the head of USA Cycling, on 30th April. Who knows what to believe but for me George Hincapie’s comment says far more than all the denials.
Saying it happened in 2002, Landis wrote that Dr. Michele Ferrari extracted a half-liter of blood so it could be transfused back into him during the upcoming Tour de France, adding that Armstrong was educating him on why the process was vital.
“Mr Armstrong was not witness to the extraction but 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. He also divulged to me at that time that in the first year that the EPO test was used he had been told by Mr. Ferrari, who had access to the new test, that he should not use EPO anymore but he did not believe Mr. Farrari (sic) and continued to use it. He later, while winning the Tour de Swiss (sic), the month before the Tour de France, tested positive for EPO at which point he and Mr. [Johan] Bruyneel flew to the UCI headquarters and made a financial agreement with Mr. [Hein] Vrubrugen (sic) to keep the positive test hidden.”
Armstrong and the UCI both pointed out that he did not ride in the Tour de Suisse in 2002, and the UCI strongly denied that it or former UCI president Verbruggen were, or ever had been, involved in a drug-test cover-up. Landis could have had the date of the alleged positive test wrong, as Armstrong did win the Tour de Suisse in 2001.
Landis said he was asked to make daily checks in 2003 of a refrigerator in Armstrong’s apartment in Girona, Spain, to ensure that the temperature was proper for blood storage.
“It was kept in a small refrigerator in the closet allong (sic) with the blood of Mr Armstrong and George Hincapie and since Mr. Armstrong was planning on being gone for a few weeks to train he asked me to stay in his place and make sure the electricity didn’t turn off or something go wrong with the referigerator. (sic)”
Hincapie said he was disappointed by the allegation.
Landis said he received the blood-boosting drug EPO for the first time in 2003 from Johan Bruyneel, the longtime coach and mastermind behind Armstrong’s Tour de France dominance.
“The first EPO I ever used was then handed to me in the entry way to [Armstrong’s] building in full view of his then wife. It was Eprex by brand and it came in six pre measured syringes. I used it intravenously for several weeks before the next blood draw and had no problems with the tests during the Vuelta. Also during this time it was explained to me how to use Human Growth Hormone by Johan Bruyneel and I bought what I needed from Pepe the team ‘trainer’ who lived in Valencia along with the team doctor at that time.”
Bruyneel, besides saying he can “absolutely deny everything” Landis wrote, said the disgraced cyclist has “threatened” and “blackmailed” him looking for money, a spot on a racing team, or both.
Landis said a team bus pretended to have engine trouble and stopped on a remote mountain road in order for the cyclists to receive half-liter transfusions at an undisclosed point in the 2004 season.
“This was the only time that I ever saw the entire team being transfused in plain view of all the other riders and bus driver. That team included Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie and I as the only Americans.”
Armstrong denied all of Landis’ assertions. “At the end of the day, bike fans … they know the truth,” Armstrong said.
You said it Lance!
In 2005, he helped Levi Leipheimer with doping during the Tour de France.
“I had learned at this point how to do most of the transfusion technicals and other things on my own so I hired Allen Lim as my assistant to help with details and logistics. He helped Levi Leipheimer and I prepare the transfusions for Levi and I and made sure they were kept at the proper temperature. We both did two seperate transfusions that Tour however my hematocrit was too low at the start so I did my first one a few days before the start so as to not start with a deficit.”
UCI president Pat McQuaid said Landis’s allegations were “scandalous and mischievous.” The governing body said it regretted that Landis accused former teammates without allowing U.S. cycling and anti-doping authorities time to investigate.
Landis told USA Cycling that he has “many, many more details” in diaries.
“Since the position of USA Cycling is that there have not been enough details shared to justify calling [the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency], I am writing as many as I can reasonably put into an email and share with you so as to ascertain what is the process which USA Cycling uses to proceed with such allegations.”
USA Cycling has declined to comment on the allegations.