Will the Real Floyd Landis Please Stand Up?

You know that I've got a lot going on elsewhere in my life if I don't finish my Tour de France summary article before the G.C. winner is accused of doping and could be stripped of the title.

The Floyd Landis Story was great while it lasted. His improbable performance on Stage 17 deserved its own chapter in Tour de France history, at least until the revelation today that he was the rider who tested positive for apparent manipulation. Austin Murphy from Sports Illustrated reports, however, that Landis was receiving cortisone and thyroid hormone treatments during the Tour, and those presumably could have an effect on the levels of testosterone and epitestosterone in his blood.

I think we're in for a long series of administrative hearings after Landis' B-test comes back. I'm assuming that it will come back positive, and then the real fun begins as the case makes its way from through the cycling and athletic regulatory bodies.

I don't want to get into whether Floyd Landis will ultimately lose his Tour de France General Classification title. I've read that the testosterone ratio test is often overturned in appeal processes, but I don't know enough about those cases to know whether the circumstances are similar to Landis'.

I got a bit of a kick out of listening to Sports Radio 66 WFAN today because I got to hear Mike Francesa and Steve Somers try to take calls on Landis' plight. Anyone who'd ever ridden a bike with clipless pedals could have called in and been treated like an expert.

I guess this is an indication of how big the story of Landis' failed doping test is in America. But, it's also an indication of what will happen if Landis is ultimately able to explain his unusual test results: Lots of people here in America will still think he's a doper. For the average sports fan in America, there's now little difference between Barry Bonds and Floyd Landis. I feel bad for Floyd.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , .