In the first part of a new series, the heel turn part of my mind has again taken over, this time in order to defend Floyd Landis
Has anybody wasted four years of his life quite like Floyd Landis? Probably, but this is still a knee-slapper of a story. Just a little under four years after (rightfully) being accused of doping by pretty much every knowledgeable cycling organization, journalist or guy who’s ridden a bike, Floyd Landis has stepped up and admitted what we’ve known for, well about four years, now. Yes, Floyd Landis has finally admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.
In a related story, a bagel was eaten somewhere in New York City sometime this morning.
After Floyd Landis admitted to doping (and I digested my delicious bagel), I received a text message asking what many may see as the obvious question. Why is Floyd Landis now admitting to doping? Gee, I don’t know. What event could possibly be on the horizon that would make such an admission a profitable one for Floyd Landis? Of course, that’s implying that Landis is admitting to using performance enhancing drugs purely to make back a little of the dough that he’s blown during the past four years. That’s awfully rude of me as Floyd Landis certainly doesn’t appear to be the type of person who would go into business for himself in a crude, unprofessional or even illegal manner.
The best part about the Floyd Landis doping story is the quote Landis gave ESPN. Sure, Landis did the required “I take responsibility for my actions” thing that we’re all used to seeing in these performance enhancing drug admissions. Landis went the extra step, however, completing the “Tiger Woods heel turn” that I suggested months back. Landis told ESPN.com “I don’t feel guilty at all about having doped. I did what I did because that’s what we [cyclists] did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there, and that was a decision I had to make to make the next step. My choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don’t do it and I tell people I just don’t want to do that, and I decided to do it.”
Exactly. This isn’t an “everybody is doing it” scenario like “everybody loves Justin Bieber” or “everybody watches Jersey Shore.” Everybody, every racer, official and “fan” knows that doping in cycling isn’t a “problem.” It’s the natural order, like Brett Favre caring about only himself or the Cleveland Browns making fans drink themselves to sleep every Sunday in the fall. Floyd Landis shouldn’t be ashamed for doping. Now is the time for Landis and others (I’m looking at you, Mr. Superstar, world famous multi-time Tour de France winner) to admit they used performance enhancing drugs and then state the even more obvious truth.
“I did it because I had to in order to win…because everybody else was doping, too.” Doping in cycling isn’t a “if you’re not cheating, you’re not trying” type of deal. If you’re not using performance enhancing in the world of professional cycling, you’re in the minority. A vast minority that will only ever see a final podium when you’re walking by it on the way to your 600 square foot apartment that your “integrity” and “morals” paid for.
Yes, Floyd Landis has also accused Lance Armstrong of doping during Armstrong’s impressive seven-year violation of the Tour de France. If Armstrong were to eventually admit to using performance enhancing drugs, would you really lose a lot of respect for him? Or would the admission slide right off of you because, deep down, in your gut, you had a feeling all along?
Or wouldn’t you care at all? Be honest with yourself. When was the last time you gave a crap about cycling. In all of my years as a sports fan, I’ve known one person (a great man) who actually is a cycling fan. He participates in races and watches events other than the Tour de France. You go ahead and name a cycling event not named “Tour de France.” I’ll wait. Seriously.
Didn’t think so.
I applaud Floyd Landis, and not because of the doping admission. No, I applaud Landis for using performance enhancing drugs in the first place. Would you turn down a promotion at your job just because you knew in your heart that somebody else, a friend, perhaps, was more qualified? Would you walk away from an extremely attractive female if approached, simply because you know you’re not in her league? Do you ignore Christmas sales because the prices are too low for the items you want to buy? You get my point.
Personally, I think cycling organizations should just stop testing, all together. At least then we’d know that everybody really is on the gas or taking some other PED. Oh wait. We already know that. And have from the very beginning.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.
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