Floyd Landis has slammed the organizers of the world road championships in Australia after they withdrew their support for a conference he is listed to attend.
Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping and earlier this year admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.
However, he was scheduled to speak at the “New Pathways For Pro Cycling” conference, which takes place later this month in Geelong, south of Melbourne, on the eve of the world titles in the same town.
The meeting originally had the support of the world championships organizers but a spokesman for the championships confirmed at the weekend that it had withdrawn its backing, saying they did not want to give Landis a “soapbox.”
Landis posted a statement on the conference website explaining his motives.
“To be clear, I do not wish to use the conference as a soapbox, nor do I wish to hijack the world championships,” he said.
“Indeed, the behavior and comments of the persons and organizations that seek to shut down the conference as a consequence of my participation demonstrate that they are interested only in selfishly perpetuating their own positions and purported authority at the expense of progressive reform.
“(They have a) total disregard of the sport’s long-term interests, including those of the riders and fans, which they are charged to protect.
“By offering an inside perspective of an athlete confronted with decisions regarding the use of banned performance-enhancing drugs, I hope to be able to contribute to a better understanding of how those decisions come to be made, and how athletes can be better supported by those in a position to facilitate better decisions and decision-making.”
The UCI Road World Championships, which take place from September 29 to October 3, are being held in Australia for the first time.