Tour de France

Landis: I saw Lance doping

2010-07-24 07:40
Floyd Landis (File)

Los Angeles - Disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis says he witnessed first hand former American team-mate Lance Armstrong using performance-enhancing drugs, including receiving transfusions for blood doping.

Speaking on an episode of the American news magazine show, ABC's 'Nightline' on Friday, Landis reiterated his sweeping allegations against Armstrong.

Landis, who at first denied then admitted using performance enhancing drugs, said it would take up too much time to go into specifics about every time he saw Armstrong using drugs.

"Rather than go into the entire detail of every single time I have seen it yes, I saw Lance Armstrong using drugs," Landis told Nightline.

"If I am taking on Lance Armstrong then that should be evidence that there is a problem with the system, because I am saying it - a bunch of people did it.

"Look. At some point people have to tell their kids that Santa Claus isn't real. I hate to be the guy to do it, but it's just not real."

Asked during the 90 minute interview if he ever saw Armstrong receiving transfusions? Landis answered, "Yes." When asked if he saw Armstrong transfuse more than once, Landis answered, "Yes, multiple times."

Armstrong won a record seven Tour de France titles and is racing now in what he says will be his final Tour.

Armstrong has vehemently denied the doping allegations.

A federal grand jury has issued subpoenas to several members of the now-defunct Armstrong-led US Postal Service team.

Landis says he witnessed widespread cheating among the US Postal team members during his stint from 2002-04.

"Lance Armstrong handed me some testosterone patches," Landis said. "It's just a little patch that you put on your skin. It is not like it's a -- I mean, a blood transfusion is a bit more dramatic. It is a large needle. And it's blood. But a patch that delivers testosterone. A trans-dermal patch."

Armstrong has hired a criminal defence lawyer to represent him against a federal probe looking into allegations of possible doping violations.

Armstrong's lawyer Tim Herman told ABC that his client has undergone about 300 drug tests in his cycling career and has never failed one.

"I know (Armstrong) to be an athlete that comes along once every couple of generations," Herman said. "He is extremely focused. He's gifted physically in ways that are very unique and he is disciplined, dedicated. He's the hardest working athlete I've ever been around. But he is also extremely devoted and committed to his cancer work."

The federal investigation was sparked by earlier accusations from Landis in a series of e-mails sent to cycling and doping officials earlier this year.

Former Armstrong team-mate Tyler Hamilton was issued a subpoena on Friday to appear before the grand jury. Hamilton's lawyer said they would co-operate with the grand jury.

Landis is competing as an independent at an cycling event this week in Oregon.

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