LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2010 – Greg Lemond, the first American to win the Tour de France, says he believes “most of Floyd Landis’s statements” charging systematic doping in cycling.
“I imagine from my own experiences that today he is paying a heavy price for his honesty and I support Floyd in his attempt to free himself from his past,” the 48-year-old Lemond said on his website after Landis, despite years of denials, admitted doping throughout his career.
Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive drug test, did more than confess this week, however.
He also pointed the finger at numerous other cyclists, including seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, and said that doping was endemic at the elite level of the sport.
Armstrong and others in cycling have been quick to attack Landis’ credibility, but Lemond, who has long been a critic of Armstrong, said Landis’ claims should not be dismissed wholesale.
“To be clear, Floyd Landis may have changed his version of the story, and while his own doping and subsequent lying have caused many to doubt him, my position, for which I have spoken long and loud, is to advocate for deep and systemic change in the sport to eliminate the scourge of dope…”
“It isn’t about whether Rider X or Rider Y can be proven by physical evidence or otherwise to have doped,” said Lemond, who won the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990.
“Floyd Landis is simply representative of many in the sport.
“The sport needs to change its governance and its culture to survive long term.”
Photo by: Bicycle.net