Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Armstrong believes Landis will likely lose arbitration case
ASPEN, Colo. -- Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said he believes that last year's winner Floyd Landis did not dope but will likely lose his arbitration case against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
Landis, who is barred from defending his title in France this month, tested positive for abnormal levels of testosterone after a dramatic and decisive win in the Tour's 17th stage last year.
"I think conventional wisdom is that he will lose [his arbitration hearing], because USADA has never lost a case," said Armstrong, the guest speaker Tuesday at an Aspen Ideas Festival health forum discussion that former CBS anchor Bob Schieffer moderated. "The arbitrators don't ever rule for the athletes. Quite frankly the system is set up against the athletes. Unfortunately for him, I don't think he did it. That's always been my position and still is today, but I'm not sure that he's going to get a fair shake in this trial."
Armstrong is again the subject of doping allegations in a soon-to-be-published book, "From Lance to Landis." Two previous books with similar allegations have been written based on testimony given in a legal dispute between Armstrong and Dallas-based SCA Promotions, which refused to pay a bonus for the American cyclist's sixth Tour de France win in 2004.
Armstrong forcefully defended his spotless record of drug testing during his streak of wins, saying that during the height of his fame, no athlete in the world was tested more. He said doping officials arrived to test him just as he and his pregnant wife were walking out the back door to head to the hospital so she could give birth.
"They came in and I had to give a sample," he said. "Imagine trying to explain that to your wife."
He said cycling has a stronger commitment to testing than other sports, which have resulted in the doping scandals.
"If you went to Major League Baseball and said, 'We're going to have random, unannounced, out-of-competition controls,' they would tell you, 'You're crazy. No way, we're not playing another game,'" he said. "The NFL, they would never do that. NHL, no way. Golf, forget it. Tennis, forget it. Of course cyclists get tested more than anything else, and perhaps that's why they get caught more than anyone else."
Unfortunately for him, I don't think he did it. That's always been my position and still is today, but I'm not sure that he's going to get a fair shake in this trial.
Lance Armstrong on Landis