Landis: Pereiro's criticism hurt, because he also doped in 2006 Tour
  October 22, 2020 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Landis: Pereiro's criticism hurt, because he also doped in 2006 Tour

by Shane Stokes at 5:08 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
American implicates the rider who won 2006 race after his disqualification

Floyd LandisFour and a half years after the 2006 Tour de France which he won but was subsequently disqualified from, Floyd Landis has spoken at length about the experience and of the repercussions he has faced as a result of his positive test.

In the course of an extremely detailed seven hour interview with Sunday Times journalist Paul Kimmage, Landis discussed many subjects, including criticism afterwards by the rider who was eventually crowned Tour champion, Oscar Pereiro.

Landis said that he was frustrated by Pereiro’s statements, referring to them as hypocritical as he claims the Spaniard conducted doping practices of his own, including in that 2006 Tour. He referred to having seen him do it prior to that time, presumably when they were team-mates in Phonak in 2005.

He also said that Pereiro admitted to him that he was using blood transfusions in the 2006 edition.

“I felt the normal feelings that you would feel because in my mind it was justified,” Landis said, describing the widespread use of banned products by the other race contenders, and his consequential lack of guilt in taking the race victory. “I haven’t said this before because no one has asked but if I had any reason to believe, and didn’t have specific knowledge that Pereiro was also doped, then I would have felt like I was cheating somebody. But I knew it, I had seen it first hand.

“It also made it a lot harder to deal with when everyone pointed at me and Pereiro was talking about how bad it was that I had robbed him of standing on the podium – that was really hard to deal with. I mean, not to go on a tangent here, but people’s opinions didn’t really affect me as long as they were consistent. But the hypocrisy was probably the worst thing I had to deal with for the last four years. I didn’t care if he was lying, I just didn’t want him pointing fingers at me and saying I robbed him. There was no doubt in my mind that whoever I might have kept off the podium, didn’t belong on the podium.”

Landis disclosed that the Spaniard had spoken to him during the race about his own use of banned methods. The American was referring to his confidence going into the time trial, saying that he believed he’d beat Pereiro by the required margin to take back the yellow jersey.

“I was relatively sure...I mean, I know Pereiro and I know he wasn’t going to have any new tricks that he hadn’t already tried. I had talked to him about it and he told me that he had another blood transfusion to do, but I still wasn’t concerned because I was a better time triallist than him, regardless.”

“We talked openly about this in the peloton, that’s why I couldn’t believe no one did this before I did it,” he continued. “We literally just spoke openly; he did a blood transfusion and some artificial haemoglobin.”

Pereiro took the yellow jersey after getting into a long distance breakaway and gaining 29 minutes and 57 seconds over the main field. Landis had instructed his Phonak team to stop working, being content to hand over the jersey before taking it back later in the race.

He did indeed recapture the Maillot Jaune, but dramatically lost it when he cracked on the sixteenth stage to La Toussuire. He bounced back the following day with one of the most audacious solo rides in Tour history, recapturing almost all of the time he had conceded. He went on to beat Pereiro in the final time trial, retake yellow and wear it to Paris.

However he then learned several days later that he had tested positive for testosterone, and was eventually banned and disqualified.

Didn’t want to dope, but say’s he’d do it again:

One of the most staggering parts of the interview was Landis’s admission that he would change little about what happened. He explained that he reached the decision to dope over a period of a few years, reasoning that if many others were doing it, that he had little choice if he wanted to win.

“I wish people could get a true sense of who I really am because I never set out to hurt anybody; I never set out to cheat anybody out of anything,” he said. “The public view-point of me changed the day when they found-out I had doped but they didn’t get to see the steps it took to get there and the small decisions I made along the way.”

He explained that he didn’t feel guilty, but did feel regret. “I’ll define exactly why I do…These decisions that I made, that I don’t necessarily feel guilty about, ended up causing people that I care about – my family and people around me – tremendous amounts of stress, and that part I regret.

“But I don’t want to take that too far because if I had never made those decisions, in all likelihood, I wouldn’t have raced the Tour de France ever. Because of my career and the team I ended-up on, if I wasn’t willing to do that (dope), I wasn’t going to be there. I wouldn’t have experienced any of the good things that I got out of it or any of the bad things, so for me, it’s okay, I can handle it. But they affected other people and for that reason I regret it.”

However, surprisingly, he said that he’d more or less follow the same path if he had a choice to start over. “In the context of what happened since, I would do everything the same… I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t have missed that. I would just admit it, afterwards.”

The full transcript of the Floyd Landis interview with Paul Kimmage can be found on the NYVelocity website.


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC