- Article published:
- May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST
- Mark Zalewski in Malibu
By Mark Zalewski in Malibu The continuation of the Floyd Landis arbitration took a turn into the...
By Mark Zalewski in Malibu
The continuation of the Floyd Landis arbitration took a turn into the surreal Wednesday afternoon when Greg LeMond, the first American to ever win the Tour de France, took the stand as a witness for the USADA.
While the questions started out cursory regarding his involement with Mr. Landis, USADA's lawyer Mr. Barnett moved the questioning into the territory of the exchanges between Mr. Landis and Mr. LeMond following LeMond's public comments for Mr. Landis to come clean following the 2006 Tour.
In those conversations Mr. LeMond admitted to Landis a very personal story in what he said was "to encourage him to help the sport and to help himself." That story, which LeMond divulged publicly for the first time today, was that he was sexually abused as a child before he began cycling.
"I shared it with him to show him what keeping a secret would do," said LeMond, referring to a phone call between the two in which LeMond encouraged Landis to "come clean." "I don't see anything good that could come of it. I would hurt my friends," LeMond recalled Landis saying in the phone call.
The reason why this story was brought into the testimony is because of events that seem to have transpired last night while LeMond was preparing to testify today. As he was returning to his hotel with his wife he said he received a phone call from a man claiming to be his uncle. Mr. LeMond said the caller said many things including, "I am your uncle and if you want me to finish this... We can talk about how we used to hide your weenie."
The USADA lawyer linked this to earlier statements made by Mr. Landis on an internet message board in which Mr. Landis implied that this story, which Mr. LeMond told him in private, would be divulged as apparent retribution for Mr. LeMond's public "slander." On the message board in questions Mr. Landis had allegedly posted a message saying, "If he ever opens up his mouth again and the...