July 26, 2006
More on positive Tour rider
Jeremy Whittle reports for the Times of London that the rider who tested positive at the Tour is a “high-profile rider” who tested above the allowed threshold for testosterone, and did so after Stage 17, the stage to Morzine won by Floyd Landis after his 130-kilometer breakaway.
Whittle quotes UCI president Pat McQuaid, who refused to name the rider:
“I will say that I am extremely angry and feel very let down by this,” McQuaid said. “The credibility of the sport is at stake. The rider, his federation and his team have been informed of the situation.”
The Tour organization performs daily tests for the stage winner (Landis), the race leader (Oscar Pereiro on that day), and a random selection of 6-8 riders. Additionally, 2-3 teams are sometimes chosen randomly to be tested before a day's stage, but this positive is apparently a post-stage sample.
How many riders could put “the credibility of the sport” at stake? Landis, of course, Pereiro probably, Klöden I suppose -- he did make the podium, and precious few others.
Landis reportedly skipped a scheduled criterium appearance Wednesday; Whittle notes this and that neither Landis nor director Lelangue could be reached for comment, but says nothing about Pereiro.
On the other hand, the Providence Journal has an AP story that says that, while the UCI said the rider's national federation has been notified, USA Cycling spokesman Andy Lee said the organization has not been contacted, while the US Anti-Doping Agency's spokeswoman offered a “no comment.”
Update 7/27 8 a.m.
Procycling quotes Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet that the product involved was a stimulant, and that the federations for the US, France, Spain, and Italy have all denied the rider is registered with them. CSC has also said it was not one of their riders.
The organizer of the Acht van Chaam criterium in Holland, upset that Landis pulled out of the event without an explanation, has been unable to reach Landis or Phonak manager Lelangue.
Update 7/27 9:45 a.m.
VeloNews offers a good summary, adding that AFP has reported that the German federation was not contacted, excluding Klöden, and that Landis is scheduled to appear on The Tonight Show on Friday.
Also, I neglected a quote from Pat McQuaid mentioned in the Procycling story above: TuttoBiciWeb, an Italian website quotes the UCI president calling it “The worst scenario possible” (actually il peggior scenario possibile, since the site's in Italian).
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Tracked on Jul 28, 2006 5:09:52 PM
Oh no! Please tell me this isn't what I'm assuming it is. Please!
Posted by: Brian at Jul 27, 2006 1:21:19 AM
Oof.. I have a bad feeling about this...
Posted by: Fritz at Jul 27, 2006 1:33:03 AM
But Landis is not riding for the US federation is he?
I thought he had a Spanish license?
it looks very suspicious now.
It could also be Menchov or Kloden but the one who performed great on that day happened to be landis.
Posted by: Marlene at Jul 27, 2006 7:53:54 AM
Marlene, Landis rides for a team with a Spanish license, but he is himself licensed by the US Cycling Federation/USA Cycling.
Posted by: TdFblog's Frank at Jul 27, 2006 8:02:46 AM
Okay Frank,Thanks. that makes it more clear. I confused the license with the Federation stuff. :)
I also read that it seems it is not An Italian, Belgium, French or Spanish rider.
so that leaves Kloden, Landis, Menchov ,Evans and Rogers.
Newspapers suspect Landis because he and his team is nowhere to be found. he should have been riding here (The Netherlands) yesterday and did not even bother to offically cancel.
Doesn't look to good.
Maybe it is really just his hip. I don't know.
Posted by: Marlene at Jul 27, 2006 8:08:26 AM
for landis' sake, i hope it is not him. i hope that his public equivocation on the drugs issue is just down to bad pr and that he himself in not just another junkie. for the sport's sake though ... well if it is landis - and the speculation as to identitity at this stage is just speculation - and the second test supports the first, then this could be the best thing to happen to the sport. it needs to be forced to confront its problem if it is ever going to deal with it.
Posted by: fmk at Jul 27, 2006 8:08:41 AM
I've just learned that Kloden also suddenly cancelled his German Pro Tour race.
Posted by: Marlene at Jul 27, 2006 8:23:46 AM
I don't think any conclusion can be drawn about Landis based on the inability to contact him, or his withdrawl from a particular race. That's wild worst-fear type speculation.
If it's Landis, cycling in the USA won't recover any time soon after all the hype. I just ordered the TDF DVD's--I'll cancel that for sure. I certainly hope that the testing results are clear. Another Tyler Hamilton-esque denial-fest won't be good for the sport here. Ugh. I hope that more details come out soon. Can't stand worrying about it.
The ambivalence of various people around the sport is kind of depressing. (Like yesterday's article in eurosport on the big picture of doping.)
The sport should offer some type of amnesty program--if you confess, and renounce the use of drugs before a positive test, no penalties, and for the rest of your career, you get a strict testing regime. If you get caught, lifetime ban. Period. The sport is going to be killed off at the pro level. No company will sponsor these guys.
Posted by: Kevin at Jul 27, 2006 8:27:08 AM
UCI president Pat McQuaid has refused to confirm whether the rider involved in the positive doping case is Landis, but has told a number of reporters that he is “very angry” with the news and admitted the credibility of the sport is in danger. He is quoted on the Italian Tuttobici website as saying: "It's the worst possible scenario."
Posted by: Kevin at Jul 27, 2006 8:34:47 AM
Why, oh why, are they letting this news out again before the B sample has been tested? This is the Tyler Olympic doping thing all over again - leak the information and get the speculation and the character smears going before there is conclusive evidence available. Even if one rider is guilty, to me it's a clear violation of the rights of the other 140+ riders who are implicated before the situation has been made clear.
Posted by: Nancy Toby at Jul 27, 2006 9:16:12 AM
This is pretty upsetting news to wake up to. I was really saddened when Tyler got put out because he is from around where I live. I'm just hoping that this was all a mistake or something and and no one will test positive at all. I love cycling and the sport has already suffered enough.
Posted by: Gleb at Jul 27, 2006 9:22:33 AM
Anyone have any idea as to what the time scale for testing the B sample is going to be?
Posted by: Dick OBrien at Jul 27, 2006 9:37:02 AM
No one has reported the time frame for the b-sample, but I would be surprised if it isn't done by Tuesday.
The initial positive was reported to the UCI on Wednesday for a stage run the previous Thursday. The lab will have started immediately on the b-sample, so it should take no longer than 6 days to get a result. Could be quicker, of course.
Posted by: Frank at Jul 27, 2006 9:43:18 AM
the lab will not have started immediately on the b-test. first, the rider concerned has to elect to go to the b sample. then a time and a venue have to be agreed, at which a representative of the rider will be present.
Posted by: fmk at Jul 27, 2006 9:50:20 AM
This is just making me sick. I don't want it to be Landis, I don't want it to be anyone. They all pained their way through each and every stage of the race and now somebody's effort is going to be down the toilet. I can't believe that Landis doped himself when he would know that he'd be tested. Or any of them. This is just unfreaking believable. Lance is just shaking his head probably thinking that this sport is just trying to kill itself. Amazing.
Posted by: gadlaw at Jul 27, 2006 10:01:06 AM
Nancy - you are absolutely correct. This never should be in the press until the B sample is tested. All this speculation is just awful for the sport and for all the riders.
As for Floyd, I read that he pulled out of the race because of his hip and had notified the race. Being unreachable? He's going to be on the Jay Leno show here in the US on Friday night - simple answer could be that he's enroute to California from Europe and unreachable because he's on a plane for hours and hours. Yea...that must feel good on his hip...ouch.
Posted by: Donna Tocci at Jul 27, 2006 10:01:11 AM
Posted by: DL Byron at Jul 27, 2006 10:12:36 AM
What was in The Dutch papers:
Floyd was having breakfast yesterday, the morning before the race in Eindhoven, The Netherlands and he appeared to be his usual self. Suddenly he was gone, no explanations. it was the first time in history a rider just unofficially left. They considered that very weird and very unlike Floyd cause he is one of the friendliest rider they said. They also mentioned they did not hear anything from Lerlangue.
Hunter and Perdiguero from Phonak did ride the race but after 30 minutes they both stopped.
In 2 German newspaper I read that it is not about a German, Austrian or French rider.
Posted by: Marlene at Jul 27, 2006 10:12:47 AM
I don't know the science behind it, but given that it's a naturally occuring substance, I'm still very open to the idea that it's a natural thing and not doping. Doping is so far from Floyd's personality, it seems to me.
Posted by: Julie at Jul 27, 2006 10:18:04 AM
OK On Dutch Tv it is now announced that it IS Floyd landis who used doping
His team announced this
Posted by: Marlene at Jul 27, 2006 10:22:08 AM