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LeMond says Landis ‘paying heavy price’ for honesty

Greg Lemond, the first American to win the Tour de France, says he believes "most of Floyd Landis's statements" charging systematic doping in cycling.

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by Agence France Presse
Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond says he believes “most of Floyd Landis’s statements” charging systematic doping in cycling.

“I imagine from my own experiences that today he is paying a heavy price for his honesty and I support Floyd in his attempt to free himself from his past,” the 48-year-old LeMond said on his Web site after Landis, despite years of denials, admitted doping throughout his career.

(Related: Directory of VeloNews articles on Landis’ allegations)

LeMond testified at Landis’ original 2007 U.S. Anti-Doping hearing that he felt Landis was prepared to admit doping, soon after testing positive at the 2006 Tour. Landis denied telling LeMond that he thought of admitting to doping charges and denied that he ever had.

Earlier this week, Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title, admitted to doping at various times in his career and then leveled charges against other riders who were teammates on the U.S. Postal and Phonak teams.

LeMond said Landis’ allegations that Lance Armstrong doped should not be dismissed wholesale.

“To be clear, Floyd Landis may have changed his version of the story, and while his own doping and subsequent lying have caused many to doubt him, my position, for which I have spoken long and loud, is to advocate for deep and systemic change in the sport to eliminate the scourge of dope …”

“It isn’t about whether Rider X or Rider Y can be proven by physical evidence or otherwise to have doped,” said LeMond, who won the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990.

“Floyd Landis is simply representative of many in the sport,” LeMond said. “The sport needs to change its governance and its culture to survive long term.”