Say it ain’t so, Floyd. Say it ain’t so.

Phonak: Landis had positive test after Stage 17
Associated Press

LONDON — Floyd Landis’ stunning Tour de France victory just four days earlier was thrown into question Thursday when his team said he tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the race. (Story.)

1: Well duh. Landis had an unusually high testosterone level? The guy made up eight feckin’ minutes up the side of a feckin’ cliff riding by himself. Of course he had testosterone squirting out his ears. I don’t know how you ride a bike at all with your balls dragging the ground like that.

2: Test wrong? I don’t know. Tests sometimes come back false positive, and I’d absolutely love to learn that this is one such case. He’s such a great story – riding the race with his hip in the shape it’s in makes this one of the great achievements in sports history, and it would absolutely suck for everybody if it was tainted.

3: Why would you take the chance? Say you’re Floyd. It’s Wednesday, you’re just turned in one of the more legendary bonks in Tour history, and you’re thinking juicing is your only shot. Still, you know you’re going to be tested, and you know the test is going to be positive. KNOW. Doomed to fail, 100% certainty, period. So why would you do it?

The irrationality of the act doesn’t prove that he’s innocent, but it makes you wonder. Unless there’s angle I don’t see here, this part makes no sense. And if there are folks out there who know more about the science of sports doping than me – and there have to be millions of you – I’d appreciate an explanation as to what I’m missing.

4: So much for family support. This is kinda refreshing, in an “I’m glad I didn’t grow up in that house” sort of way:

Arlene Landis, his mother, said Thursday that she wouldn’t blame her son if he was taking medication to treat the pain in his injured hip, but “if it’s something worse than that, then he doesn’t deserve to win.”

“I didn’t talk to him since that hit the fan, but I’m keeping things even keel until I know what the facts are,” she told The Associated Press in a phone interview from her home in Farmersville, Pennsylvania. “I know that this is a temptation to every rider but I’m not going to jump to conclusions … It disappoints me.”

I guess we’ll know in a few days. I’m rooting for “false positive,” but am not optimistic. The cycling establishment tried for years to nail Armstrong, and knowing how many in that world loathe Americans generally, “Landis” is close enough to “Lance” to ensure that he’ll get no breaks. And for all we know, he may be guilty as sin…



11 thoughts on “Say it ain’t so, Floyd. Say it ain’t so.

  1. I’m rooting for a false positive, too. But my bet is on something for the hip. Some sort of anti-inflammatory so he could actually move. Either that, or he needed it to get his skinny butt into those bike pants after all those damned hills.
    As a side note…I wonder. You think Freddie was talking about these guys when he said, “Bicycle races are coming your way/So forget all your duties oh yeah/Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today/So look out for those beauties oh yeah”?

  2. Something as simple as a cortizone shot for the pain could fail the test.
    This reminds me of Andreea Raducan being stripped of the all-around gold in Sydney because a Romanian doctor gave her a cold pill containing a banned substance. Ironically, that substance is no longer banned.
    Governing bodies for different sports and the Olympics go overboard on the substances they are banning–things that don’t even remotely enhance performance! Marijuana, for example. Sure, no athlete should be getting high before a race/competition, but it sure isn’t going to give an athlete an edge on the competition!

  3. hydrocortizone (or cortisol?) will make you fail a testosterone test? well, that sucks. they’re both steroidal hormones, i guess. but doesn’t cort skyrocket with stress? there has to be a way to differentiate between stress levels of cort and and someone taking the stuff. i’m guessing it has something to do with breakdown products/metabolites.
    as for the marijuana test, i think it makes perfect sense. would YOU want someone next to you baked out of his mind while going 60 mph down a bigass hill in france? especially if there were 200 guys on bikes behind you?

  4. I would think that if someone were taking enough of cortisol or an epidural steroid that it would affect a testosterone test.
    Right, I’m not saying someone should be baked out of their mind; just that stripping someone of a medal for it is kinda crazy. Hell, if someone totally baked could win a race, they’d deserve the medal! :0 Or, if someone smoked pot a few days before a race, I don’t see what that would have to do with his/her performance on raceday. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug; isn’t that what doping tests are trying to prevent–cheating?
    Along those lines, perhaps Bode Miller should be given breathalizers before races. I’d be more afraid of the drunk guy than the stoned guy.

  5. i’d be afraid of both of em in the situation i described. hahaha.
    i think drug tests are about both keeping things natural, keeping participants safe, and keeping athletes healthy. i don’t want to get into an argument about what “natural”, “safe”, and “healthy” mean in this day and age (especially when 10 year old girls are killing themsvles over gymnastics), but i think these ideals were the original intent.
    oh, and on top of that, you have to deal with PR and being a proper role model. with communication being the way it is today, professional sports isn’t just about the athletes, teams, and/or coaches anymore. but that’s another long argument i don’t wanna get into. 🙂 i’m sure LP could cover this far better than i can. heh.

  6. Yes, I see your point about safe, healthy and natural, as well as PR and the role model issue. I’m just thinking more of what athletes do at home than what they do in competition.
    What 10-year-old girls are “killing themselves” over gymnastics? Do you mean eating disorders? If that is the case, there are all kinds of sports you could look at, including boys’ and mens’ wrestling–skipping meals to make weight, running around in plastic suits to lose water weight, etc.
    I don’t want to get into a big thing about it, but I’m a HUGE gymnastics fan, and I hate when people single out girls’ gymnastics as being this horrible sport. The number of gymnastics coaches who starve and abuse their athletes is very small. Every sport has coaches who push their athletes too hard.

  7. you’re right. wrestling is probably just as bad. even HS football in some places. i was a track and cross country person myself. and i’ve seen what a nutcase and somewhat clueless coach can do to a runner who might not be at the top of his game on a particular day. i was just using gymnastics as an example.

  8. As a scientist, I have to ask:
    Has anyone done any studies of male athletes’ testosterone levels during a race/meet/workout?
    Because, see, until we know what the baseline is for “normal conditions,” how can anyone make any statements about what’s “abnormal?” That’s just Basic Science, there, folks.
    (My own guess is that “resting state” hormone levels will be rather different than the levels of those same hormones when one is “active.” I’d also bet that the levels would be different depending on the type of activity, one’s mental state, etc.)
    As for Mr. Landis:
    1. I don’t fault his mom for her respose. It sounds like
    exactly what my parents would do (and, in fact, what they did do anytime we were accused of getting into trouble as kids).
    2. His own response was just stoopid, and not very believable. We’ll see what’s real.
    3. The French bzw. the European cyclists have been pissed about an American winning for 7+ years now. Worse, he didn’t just win, but he didn’t use any performance-enhancing drugs like all of them do. Common belief of the inferior-arrogant: I can’t win unless I cheat, so if someone who I think is my inferior wins, then he must have cheated.
    (Personally, I don’t think that Lance Armstrong cheated at all. The man had testicular cancer…of course he was on hormones during his recovery! Duh. On a different, but related, note: when someone who’s HIV+ is recovering from being sick, they’re put on steroids to help them regain weight. As a result, there are are lots of HIV+ gay men who are very, very buff…because they were smart and worked out while they were on the hormones. So I repeat: Lance Armstrong had testicular cancer. His docs almost certainly put him on various androgens to help him recover. So … Duh! … he put that to use in order to recover better health than when he was hit with the cancer.)
    Aaaanyhoo: The Eurocheats are LIVID with Mr. Armstrong. Even moreso since every last doping accusation they (or anyone else) lodges just won’t stick. So, naturally, they’re gonna go after any other American who wins, let along one who makes a major comeback.
    So, from that angle, it really doesn’t matter whether or not Landis juiced himself or not.

  9. Yeah. I think what the Tour needs right now is for a Frenchman to win and then test positive for the back wall of BALCO’s R&D lab. That might shut them up for a few weeks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s