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Floyd Landis Does What Lance Armstrong Couldn’t — Test Positive

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Oh, he fooled us. That devil.

Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone after his dramatic Stage 17 win. His team confirms the positive test.

Thinking back, Landis was among the leaders in the middle of the race, then fell well out of contention (eight minutes back), only to storm back and win Stage 17, coming within less than a minute of then leader Oscar Pereiro. He went on to dye his jersey yellow (or however they anoint the current leader — they probably switch jerseys) and ride down the Champs-Elysees first.

Well, shit.

We're supposed to be all cynical here about athletes and performance enhancers, and then we let our guard down because we wanted an American to win the Tour. And to be frank, doping allegations never once crossed my mind, because I'm not accustomed to American cyclists testing positive. Gee, thanks, Lance for being so goddamn clean.

So he'll probably be stripped of his Tour title, which will be handed to Pereiro, who finished second. That is, unless Pereiro was found to dope, in which case it will go to Andreas Kloden, and so on until they find the best finishing clean athlete. Actually, now that I think about it, Lance Armstrong just may win this Tour as well.

The rumors were swirling around Landis all week, especially because nobody from Denmark's Jyske Bank Grand Prix could locate him to see if he was going to actually participate in their race. Teammates were quoted as saying Landis had a hip injury.

That excuse sounds like a lie, but there's a shred of truth in that. You see, Landis is about to become much less hip.

UPDATE: Landis denies any kind of cheating. Boy, that was quick.

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  • http:paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Couple of notes here. First, testing positive to elevated testosterone levels is not prima facie evidence of doping, but is “subject to investigation”.

    Second, Landis is currently suspended by his team pending results of the investigation, so he would not be eligible to compete in the Danish race. And, by the way, Landis doesn’t have “a hip injury”, he has a dead hip; the bone is completely brittle and dry.

    Please recall that such investigations plagued Lance Armstrong throughout his Tour stampede, and they each resulted in clearing him of doping. The squeaky-clean image of Lance was never visible during his active competitive years, but is only to be seen in retrospect. It is possible that this will be the case with the next winning American in the Tour, Floyd Landis.

  • Lisa Gianardi

    Floyd and Team Phonak need to have the B test sent to a lab in the Netherlands. I would never in a million years trust a French lab. They are so desperate to shaft an American. I do not now nor will I ever believe that Landis used testosterone the night before Stage 17. He had to know they would test everthing. How many IVs were given to him the night before Stage 17. I can’t believe anyone would be so stupid. I think this is another pissed off French group trying to hang doping on the winner since he is an American. I will never believe it.

    Lisa Gianardi

  • Bill Johston

    I cannot wait until Floyd sues all of these news groups for defamation when it turns out that this is another French attempt to sock one to the United States. Ultimately, the French just cannot accept that we are better at everything. Good luck in the next thirty years France-or should I say the Islamic Republic of Europe.

  • http://scriptie_arnout.blogspot.com Arnout

    Armstrong clean, that’s a good one. Now pull the other leg.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    See, I think you have to believe a positive test is possible.

    This isn’t a French newspaper reporting a positive test from five years ago — this is their own team reporting a positive test a week ago. Holds a little more substance if you ask me.

  • chris

    You are not be used to Americans testing positive? Tyler Hamilton? Remember him?

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Until I read this article I (like a lot of people)figured it was just French shenanigans all over again, but this was from his own team.

    Thanks for setting it straight, for those of us who just assumed without knowing the details Matt.

    Jet

  • Chuck Lai

    Floyd did not test positive for testosterone. His A sample T/E ratio (testosterone to epitestosterone ratio) was high. I’m assuming higher than the 4:1 ratio.

    Supposedly, his testosterone level was lower than normal. Let’s wait until his B sample is tested before calling him a devil.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Tyler Hamilton … Tyler Hamltion … which TdF did he win again?

  • jase

    Please explain how the team managers are still in employment (living is easy with eyes closed misunderstanding all you see !!!) As long as there are human beings on this planet there will be people willing the break the rules in sport, business or life. Unfortunately its the people not at the top of the food chain who get blamed for all the things that go wrong. Also explain how the other 100 odd riders are able to ride 3000km + on water alone i think not

  • http://scriptie_arnout.blogspot.com Arnout

    “I’m not accustomed to American cyclists testing positive.”

    Where do you mention TdF again?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Americans don’t know they have cyclists until they win that race.

    Tyler Hamilton could have been world ranked for all I know, but to us he’s just some dude who bikes a lot. Maybe gets some points if he ever was Lance Armstrong’s teammate, +1 if he wore a LIVESTRONG bracelet.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Speaking of Lance Armstrong, are you aware that several sports wires are linking him romantically to of all people…Jake Gylenhaal of Brokeback Mountiain Fame?

    No lie, they’re giving odds of 1/3!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Well, you buy a tandem bike together, you’re gonna get that.

  • scott

    Interesting find, Alcohol can contribute to elevated levels, see this article: nih.gov

    Floyd had the beer the night before!

  • Dave Mace

    Landis drank a lot of beer after Stage 16.
    Beer has ethanol in it.

    His test from a hack French lab comes back testing high in testosterone.

    Testosterone has ethanol in it.

    Case closed. Let’s get back to work.

  • Susan MD

    Actually, testosterone can rise precipitously following refeeding semistarved individuals.
    see:
    J Appl Physiol 88: 1820-1830,2000
    Endocrine markers of semistarvation in healthy lean men in a multistressor environment.
    Friedl KE et al.

  • sal m

    this may be the case in semistarved individuals but landis and all elite level racers consume calories during their races and are not semi-starved. depleted yes, but not necessarily semi-starved…and if this condition was common more racers would have ratios that were out of whack.

  • http:paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Sal, the problem with Landis in Stage 16 was lack of feeding and hydration; he missed several water and food distributions, and “bonked” because of that. He finished that stage (Alp d’Huez, I think) looking like a concentration-camp survivor.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Matt, I’m confused, I though he failed an American test, and that’s why the team dumped him?
    Why would they do that so quickly from a French test?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Floyd is an American, but that’s about as much USA is in this story.

    We may not trust the French but Phonak (a Swiss company) and other teams/sponsors have to take a positive test seriously, and it’s probably just a necessary formality to immediately suspend an athlete that gets a positive test and then ask questions later.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    So how long does it normally take for the 2nd test to come in, has he made any further statements since you wrote this?

  • http://www.wesleyan.org/education Kerry

    “Testosterone can build muscle and improve recovery time when used over a period of several weeks, said Dr. Gary Wadler, a member of the World Anti-Doping Agency and a spokesman for the American College of Sports Medicine. But if Landis had been a user, his earlier urine tests during the tour would have been affected, he said. “So something’s missing here,” Wadler said. “It just doesn’t add up.”

    There is no such thing as overnight doping with testosterone. It is not possible that improvement from stage 16 to stage 17 was testosterone doping, contrary to the popular speculation.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Other than the story update, I’ve heard nothing else out of Landis.

  • http://jakob.thusgaard.com Jakob Thusgaard

    Maybe we should wait for that B test before we do what the French must be wanting: Judge a man publicly without trial !? Why else would the A test be made public without the B test?

  • MCH

    “We may not trust the French…”

    I don’t have a problem with the French, I’d trust them before our Commander in Chimp…

  • http:paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Why, MCH! Are you suggesting that the President’s mountain-bike muscles might be artificially enhanced?!?

  • MCH

    Uh, no…just that he’s a liar…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Nah, it’s even simpler than that Bush employs stunt doubles, just like Saddam did!

  • http:paperfrigate.blogspot.com DrPat

    Hmmm… Perhaps the next step is to add DNA testing in bicycle racing, to make sure that races are not being won by stunt doubles.

    For those who are ready to decry the French as biased in this matter, remember that the TdF is a French race, so all race-days testing is done under their aegis. This is why they do A and B samples, though. When there is a reason to investigate, the B sample is (supposed to be) tested by a completely different lab, with a more-thorough testing method.

    Note: I read that Floyd Landis had signed to the Discovery team for future racing seasons, after his hip surgery is complete.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Can anyone make a case blaming Bush for Landis’ disproportionate testosterone level?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    Maybe his daughters are to blame…

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Easy, Landis carrys a photo of Bush around with him and everytime he looks at it his testosterone raises.

  • Barry Bonds

    I think I saw him using some sun-screen during stage 16. It was brutally hot that day and he was applied some to his arms, legs and face, it might be tainted. As far as President Bush goes, all I know is he owned the Texas Rangers at one time and I happen to know many of those players were injected in his prescence. He frequented the locker room and was known to toss the fella’s towels.
    In fact just last week during the g-8 summit I believe an open mike picked up President Bush saying that the French had no balls and that someone should put some testosterone in their wine.
    Video available on my MyTube.

    I am innocent….

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    It is a convincing argument that those drugs aren’t that fast-acting and they should’ve shown up on earlier tests.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    Suddenly a kid appears at the top of a French Hill with a Banjo playing “Dueling Landi”… is that the plural for Landis?

  • Shawn in Boston

    So, he dramatically blows up on Stage 16, losing not only the yellow jersey but over 10min. He is written off. Goes home and broods. Then he get’s up the next morning and rides an epic stage 17 to claim near success (this didn’t happen until his time trial 2 days later).

    The notion that his failure on Stage 16 leads him to take a testosterone shot or patch and make such a dramatic comeback is not ony absurd, it lacks logic. Floyd has won the Tour of California in Feb and then the Tour of Georgia earlier this spring – both major wins. Following these races and several others, he is tested but never positive for Test. Keep in mind Test. is not a traditional performance enhancer. It is not something you take 1 day and the next your superman. It is cummulative. Suggesting that he took such corrective acion after nearly throwing his entire race away, is impossible – it just doesn’t work that way.

    That fact that he is proven guilty through this process before even his B sample, provides case point as to why the guillotine was found in France. Swift resolution through a non-due process of guilt. Take a look at the recent news of Just Gatlin. There were no reports prior to testing both A and B samples – which is formal testing methodology before any conclusive evidence can be gathered for further testing.

    I could go on here, but I think you get the point. Media makes for good press.