Cycling: Fresh doping claims are just 'sour milk' insists Armstrong
Lance Armstrong has rejected a fresh series of doping accusations from his former team-mate Floyd Landis relating to alleged drug use within Armstrong's former squad, US Postal. For the second time in 10 weeks, Landis made the allegations in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, published hours before the 38-year-old RadioShack leader rolled down the start ramp of what will be his final Tour.
"The article repeats many of Landis's baseless and already discredited claims," Armstrong argued. "His credibility is like a carton of sour milk; once you take the first sip, you don't have to drink the rest to know it has all gone bad."
In May, Landis accused Armstrong and the team manager, Johan Bruyneel, of organising doping inside US Postal, to which Landis belonged from 2002 to 2004, and his second interview provided a wealth of new detail. Among his claims were that the squad members once had an hour-long blood transfusion in a team bus that conveniently "broke down" on an isolated mountain road.
On another occasion during the 2002 Tour, he claimed, he and three other riders – including Armstrong – had transfusions in a hotel room with plastic taped over the air-condition-ing unit and its smoke detectors ripped out to ensure any hidden cameras were blocked.
Landis also claimed that up to 60 team bikes, made by American company Trek, were sold off to provide cash for the doping programs, and that Armstrong himself gave Landis 20 testosterone patches for the 2002 Tour while having coffee with Armstrong's family. Landis does get some new back-up, but not much. Three other Postal riders told the Wall Street Journal that doping took place, but would not be named.
Evidence of bikes-for-drugs deals is equally blurry. Trek have confirmed team bikes would appear for sale on the internet, but other teams have pointed out to The Independent on Sunday that while the taxman might not hear much about it, it is not unusual for riders to sell off soon-to-be-outdated team material at the end of the season.
While the claims are remarkably detailed and will do nothing to lessen the clouds of suspicion surrounding Armstrong, direct evidence remains scarce.
What is perhaps most telling about the Landis interview and the mindset of riders involved in doping is his expressions of admiration for Armstrong despite claiming time and again that cycling's biggest ever star consistently cheated. "He's got his image, and then he's got the reality," Landis said. "He was the best bicycle racer in the world. I could respect that."
Latest in Sport
Liverpool vs Bolton report: Brilliant Adam Bogdan produces heroics to earn Wanderers a replay
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? And full card
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
Arsenal transfer news and rumours: Gabriel Paulista fee agreed as Gunners make £13.5m bid to sign Villarreal defender - reports
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 Syrian refugee child beaten by Istanbul Burger King manager for eating customer’s leftover food
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...