The already disgraced U.S. cyclist Floyd Landis — the 34-year-old was the first rider stripped of a Tour de France title after testing positive for elevated testosterone levels at the 2006 Tour — has ironically now come clean. Landis admitted to a systematic use of performance-enhancing drugs, then went on to point the finger at seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong, who he also claimed was involved in doping. “I want to clear my conscience,” Landis told ESPN.com, “I don’t want to be part of the problem any more.” Armstrong has already refuted the claims, telling reporters that, “I have nothing to hide,” and “history speaks for itself here,” before going on to add, “It’s his word versus ours … we like our word, we like our credibility.”
For his own part, Landis has detailed comprehensive, consistent use of the red blood cell booster erythropoietin (better known as EPO), testosterone, human growth hormone and frequent blood transfusions, along with a one-time experiment with insulin during the period he rode for the U.S. Postal Service and Switzerland-based Phonak teams between 2002-2006. Frankly, it’s an astonishing revelation by Landis. After all, he stringently denied taking illegal stimulants after being stripped of the title. The scandal is a far cry from Landis’s early days in the sport: not only did he win the first race he entered but was crowned U.S. junior national champion in 1993. He told friends he would eventually win the Tour de France and was recruited by Armstrong for U.S. Postal; they rode together over three straight Tours — all of which Armstrong won — between 2002-2004.