By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Wheaton, Illinois
While rumours and speculation about when the decision of Floyd Landis' fate may come circulate, especially as the Tour de France gets underway, Landis himself has been busy promoting his new book, Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France. Monday night Landis appeared at a Borders bookstore in suburban Chicago and was welcomed by a crowd of a few hundred supporters. He greeted each fan with a smile and a thank you, and signed copies of his book until the store sold out.
"Most everything was written by the time the hearing was going on," Landis told Cyclingnews about the book's writing, co-written with author Loren Mooney. "We had to add an epilogue after but everything else was finished six weeks before, because the date was established when we thought the hearing was going to be in January. We wanted it to come out before the Tour, that's all."
"[Mooney] did the vast majority of it and did a great job -- I had never written a book before! To make it entertaining and still from my voice is another thing."
Landis spoke for a couple of minutes and then opened the floor to questions for twenty minutes. Most of the questions were rather benign, inquiring about what he is doing these days and how his hip is feeling, but a few did probe into deeper issues.
When a question on his thoughts regarding Greg LeMond surfaced, Landis quickly quipped back, "Care to make that more specific?" -- to which the crowd laughed. While keeping the mood light, Landis did diffuse the question by saying that he did not know why LeMond was brought into the preceding. "He only served to distract [from] what the hearing was about."
Of course, people wanted to know when the decision was going to come down, and if it is against him, if he will appeal. "My lawyers have not heard anything," he said. "There is no real timeline except for a ten day minimum after the hearing closes. It depends on what the ruling says. I really believe there is very little chance I would not appeal it. I don't know what they could possibly write that would convict me. But if they say 'we just don't like the guy', then it is going to be hard to appeal that!"
"I hope it is soon, but I also hope it doesn't take away from the guys who are racing this year. They deserve more credit than they are getting."
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