Armstrong set own fate by turning against Floyd
It was just a couple of inconsequential incidents that brought down a sport legacy.
By now you’ve probably either read about or watched Monday’s UCI press conference . We all held our breath for how the UCI might rule. Would they strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tours de France champion titles or would they fight USADA’s recommendation and take it to CAS, the supreme court of sports? To assume that the sport’s governing body would make a logical ruling is a leap of faith. Honestly. I wasn’t sure how they would rule.
“The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” is what UCI president Pat McQuaid told a room full of journalists.
With that statement Armstrong’s results from August 1st 1998 were gone. If you had an autographed Armstrong yellow jersey I hope you were smart enough to eBay it before the market dropped out. As a rule disgraced professional athlete memorabilia doesn’t sell for as much post-scandal.
Beyond the affidavits and the USADA report it’s odd how professional cycling got to the place it’s in right now – a seven time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor completely stripped of his sporting awards as well as his dignity. The funny thing is it’s a combination of a domestic pro racer with so-so results who was a sloppy doper (Kayle LeoGrande) and Floyd Landis believing that he hadn’t been treated fairly.
As it was pointed out in the New York Times this whole crap storm of a doping scandal came about due to LeoGrande being a crappy tenant. He was moving out of his apartment and left his performance enhancing drugs in the refrigerator. The landlord found them and called LeoGrande to have him pick them up. The heavily tattooed LeoGrande said he didn’t want to and from there the ball started to roll. Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky was called in and he started working his way up the doping food chain. At this point it was still considered a domestic doping problem, but that situation soon escalated when LeoGrande started talking, pointing his finger at European racing.
Another rather small happening that got the doping scandal started was Landis was made to feel like a second class citizen on the US Postal Team. He wasn’t given the best team equipment and he was not afraid to let Bruyneel know what he thought of that. While Landis wouldn’t agree with me, I think both he and Armstrong are very similar – both Alpha Dogs and not afraid to let people know their unwavering point of view. A pack can’t have two dominant leaders and it was destined to end badly.
After serving his two-year suspension for doping in the 2006 Tour de France, Floyd thought he was going to return to European racing in what is now called the World Tour. Armstrong made a comment saying that it would be interesting if Landis returned to the team, fueling speculation that they would be teammates again.
Privately Armstrong and Landis couldn’t stand one another, so