Cyclist Floyd Landis, who lost his Tour de France title after a positive drug test, has admitted systematic doping and accused fellow American Lance Armstrong of doing the same, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The newspaper said Landis acknowledged his own use of performance-enhancing drugs and accused fellow cyclists of using them too in emails to cycling officials and sponsors.
Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 title after testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, claimed he and other United States cyclists conducted blood transfusions, and used steroids and a synthetic blood booster called erythropoietin (EPO), the Journal reported.
The emails, which were addressed to officials from USA Cycling, the International Cycling Union and elsewhere, allege Armstrong’s longtime coach Johan Bruyneel introduced Landis to practices including steroid patch use and blood doping.
Landis claimed Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, explained the doping process to him.
“He and I had lengthy discussions about it on our training rides during which time he also explained to me the evolution of EPO testing and how transfusions were now necessary due to the inconvenience of the new test,” Landis wrote in one of three emails seen by the Journal.
Armstrong and Bruyneel did not respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.
Landis was banned from racing for two years after failing his drug test, making his return in January 2009.
He lost an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) which threw out his case in June 2008 and ordered him to pay $100 000 in judicial costs to the American anti-doping agency.
Landis’ attempts to clear his name are believed to have cost him some $2-million. — AFP