Friday, July 28, 2006

Tour de France Winner Landis: Did the Booze Do It?

Talk about burying the lede, as they say in MSM autopsies. Floyd Landis is asking for a decent interval in the rush to judgement his apparent doping test failure has produced. In about para 15 of a Reuters article, here may be an interesting explanation of Landis's spectacular performance the day he flunked the test:
Landis provided the positive sample after a brilliant ride in the 17th stage, a grueling ride to Morzine in the French Alps, a day after a disastrous showing had appeared to ruin his chances of victory.

The American said that the night before the 17th stage he and his Phonak team mates had been depressed and had drunk beer and whiskey in their hotel room. [my emphasis]

When asked to explain his incredible ride in the crucial 17th stage, Landis replied: "There's 20 stages in the Tour and everyday you see a fabulous performance. Explain the other 19."

NPR had the CEO of the agency which checks Olympic drug testing as well as biking doping. This gentleman, with a Canadian accent, explained the strange eccentricities of biking dope testing, and the multiple opportunities for manipulation the testing procedures present. He even came to the edge of speculating that Landis may be being set up for the fall, given the politicization and other extraneous motivations the World Biking Authority nabobs may be undergoing.

Suffice it to say that Landis may have got a lot of extra energy from the whiskey and beer, which the fabulous athletes of East Germany used to imbibe during their strenuous training regimens back when they were sweeping the table in the Olympics.

Landis, a straight-shooter from a Mennonite background, does not appear a likely candidate to try to cheat. Perhaps his body reacted to the alcoholic stimulants after presumably a long period of abstinence in a way that produced the testoserone on a completely internal basis. I do know that riding a bike during a hangover is not a good experience, but that was back in France when I wasn't trying to beat the clock.

1 comment :

Robert Hume said...

On the previous day Landis seemed to have a spectacular and unprecedented collapse which is unexplained. Whatever that was, it may be correlated with the change in his testosterone. One can imagine the body fighting back and releasing a flood of testosterone.

Apparently there is a test that can tell the difference between natural and artificial testosterone. That should settle the issue ... unless he has been framed as you suggest.