Jul 31 2006
Yeah, sure, Oscar Freire won another classic with a bike throw, yadda yadda yadda. But do you think anyone cares about the long, flat and dull Vatenfall Cyclassics? Not with the Landis case still in full swing. After the initial wave of shock and horror passed, the “Believe Tylers” came out of the woodwork, assailing the test with all their might. Lance Armstrong has also come out in support of Landis, prompting Greg Lemond reflexively to do the opposite. The seven-time Tour winner points out that the drug really doesn’t make sense, and he’s not the first to do so.
If the B sample does burn the Tour champ, conspiracy theorists will certainly have rich fodder. Beyond the seemingly incongruous result, Landis’ positive sample was also analyzed by the Chatenay-Malabry lab that leaked Armstrong’s 1999 “positive” last August, and has come up with odd results (scroll to the Pezzo story) in the past. However, Phonak director Jacques Michaud doesn’t need any of that crap; he says Landis is innocent because if the American were doping, the team would have known about it. So is that a tacit admission that Phonak knew about Oscar Camenzind, Tyler Hamilton, Santi Perez, Jose Gutierrez, and Santiago Botero?
Inside the realm of reasonable doubt, though, the case is not looking good. Floyd’s excess testosterone has allegedly been proven exogenous via mass spectrometry, and the world waits only on the B sample (allegedly due today) to begin official sanctions and appeals. Personally, I think an attempt to dilute a foreign substance might explain why Floyd was drinking so freaking much during Stage 17. He’d better cook up an intriuging counterplot, along the lines of the vanishing twin or Colombian necktie, if he wants to get off. It looks like it just might work for Justin Gatlin.