Landis Drug Hearing Enters Final Day
A hearing into whether Floyd Landis took banned synthetic testosterone to help him win last year's Tour de France was expected to wrap up Wednesday, a day after a grueling cross-examination of the embattled cyclist.
The results of the hearing into two positive drug tests on samples taken from Landis at the time of the famous race will decide whether the 31-year-old American cyclist retains his win or becomes the first person in the history of the Tour de France to be stripped of the title.
Setting up Tuesday's testimony, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency attorney Matthew Barnett asked Landis if he would "agree, that as my mother used to say, that a person's character is revealed more by their actions than their words?"
"It sounds like a good saying," Landis replied.
Then Barnett revisited the dramatic testimony of fellow Tour champion Greg LeMond, who said he had received a threatening phone call from Landis' business manager warning him not to appear at the hearing.
Landis admitted he told his manager, Will Geoghegan, about a private conversation between the two cyclists in which LeMond revealed he had been sexually abused as a child. In his phone call to LeMond, Geoghegan threatened to reveal that secret.
The next day, LeMond told the committee of the call and his past sexual abuse.
Barnett tried to portray Landis and Geoghegan as scheming together to keep LeMond from testifying, then not showing remorse until they got caught.
Landis said he knew Geoghegan's phone call was a problem, and that he regretted firing his business manager the next day, after LeMond's testimony.
"In hindsight, yeah, I probably should've fired him immediately, but I didn't know what to do so I wanted [his] advice," Landis said.
Since the hearing began last week, journalists have written about Landis wearing yellow neckties, symbolic of the yellow jersey worn by the winner of the Tour de France.
On the day LeMond testified, however, Landis wore all black. A reporter covering the hearing said Landis had told him that the dark colors represented "the end of any credibility Greg LeMond has left."
Landis denied making the statement.
"I wore the black suit - because it was a terrible day. It was a bad thing that happened; it wasn't a day to celebrate wearing a yellow tie," he said.
After Tuesday's testimony, three arbitrators hearing the case denied a motion by attorneys for Landis to strike LeMond's earlier testimony.
On Monday, the Landis defense was bolstered by an independent expert, Wolfram Meier-Augenstein, a researcher in carbon isotope ratio testing at Queen's University, Belfast, who raised concerns about the drug test results, saying it relied on a lot of assumptions and that "if someone's career depends on it, you don't go on assumptions."
The arbitrators were expected to decide the case in three to four weeks.
— Tom Goldman with additional reporting from the Associated Press
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