Floyd Landis has described the current anti-doping system as a 'mafia', and has argued that, as was understood to be the case when he was racing, those who use banned products will always be one step ahead of those trying to catch them.
The 2006 Tour de France champion – stripped of his title soon after he'd won it – was speaking to L'Equipe as part of an feature looking at his new marijuana business, Floyds of Leadville, which specialises in vape and edible products containing cannabis oil. The article is largely devoted to the plantation in Colorado, where the drug is legal, but the conversation turns to cycling and Landis revisits some of the stories from the past, as well as commenting on the current state of affairs.
"I hope today's athletes have the right to better controls," he says, explaining that he was doing EPO and blood transfusions in 2006 but the only thing that showed up on a test was testosterone, which he claims he never took.
"I can guarantee you that not one athlete has confidence in the system. But no one wants to say so for fear of what would happen to them. Because whoever dares do so could return a positive test within six months. It's a mafia, exactly like the IOC.
"In any case, the sport will never be clean and the guys who take the products will always be one step ahead."
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Landis also praised the disgraced doctor Michele Ferrari, who organised his and Lance Armstrong's doping practices, describing him as a 'genius'.
"When I was riding, he was the go-to guy – he had all the information and the connections with the WADA labs. He even bought products off guys who worked at the Madrid lab, who received them for testing and sent them to us. Ferrari is a genius."