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LeMond responds to threat, questioning

By:
Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California
Published:
May 18, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 22, 2009, 20:01 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for May 18, 2007

By Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California Following the testimony by Greg LeMond in the arbitration...

By Mark Zalewski in Malibu, California

Following the testimony by Greg LeMond in the arbitration hearing between the USADA and Floyd Landis, and the subsequent fall-out over an alleged threatening phone call made by the now former associate of Landis, Will Geoghegan, to LeMond the night before, LeMond addressed the assembled media. "I think if you read what [Landis] posted about me, I think there is another side of Floyd that the public has not seen," said LeMond in response to the alleged phone call made by Geoghegan.

According to LeMond the alleged phone call was from a male who posed as his uncle and said things that made him shake. "I was shocked, absolutely shaking and shocked," said LeMond. "I think that the comprehension of his team about sexual abuse and people who were victims is reprehensible. I said it shows the extent of their ignorance, lack of intelligence or who they really are."

"As I was leaving [Geoghegan] admitted that he called me and tried to apologize," LeMond said. "I plan on pursuing this through the police. It was a real threat - it was, I hate to say, creepy."

Mr. Geoghegan declined comment as he quickly left the building with his girlfriend. Immediately following the recess, Landis' attorney Maurice Suh asked that the official record reflect that the business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan was dissolved, effective immediately.

Landis' attorney Maurice Suh stated, "To the extent there has been any business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan, I would like to inform the panel that Mr. Landis has made the determination that Mr. Geoghegan's services are no longer required and they have separated their agreement as of this moment. And so Mr. Geoghegan is now terminated from the previous position he's had with Mr. Landis."

LeMond was called by the USADA to testify because of another phone call, one that occurred between LeMond and Landis on August 6, 2006, when LeMond says Landis confronted him about his public comments, specifically regarding the stage 17 positive Landis returned at that year's Tour de France. "I'm just here because I believe in finding the truth about cycling," said LeMond. "I happened to not call Floyd - he called me, and I was asked to testify about that."

LeMond implies Landis admitted to doping

LeMond was asked directly about his testimony which seemed to imply that Landis told him he had used drugs. "I've been on record on there - it's fully on record what he told me," said LeMond. "You can take what you want from that, about my conversation with Floyd. Floyd believes I have breached some secret pact that we had -- I never agreed to any pact. I wanted truly for this to go through the legal system and USADA and this arbitration -- let the science and everything come out, right or wrong."

"You hear a lot of these athletes that we should take down USADA, we should take down WADA, we should get rid of the UCI," LeMond continued. "I say that thank God there is WADA and USADA because we all know what is happening with cycling. I care passionately about cycling. My son just got into cycling last year, he's racing collegiately now, and has even got me riding again. I just imagine my son entering a professional race today and being faced with the choice of either you dope or you don't."

LeMond's testimony, specifically the cross-examination by Landis' attorney Howard Jacobs, was interrupted by LeMond's personal attorney from Minnesota Bruce Manning. Mr. Manning objected to Mr. Jacobs' questioning regarding the deposition LeMond gave involving Lance Armstrong and a lawsuit brought by SCA promotions. "I had a legal reason not to answer questions about Lance Armstrong and it's fairly common knowledge for many years and that is why I didn't answer," said LeMond.

"What he was trying to do is portray me with an ulterior motive," LeMond continued. "I can tell you this, I put my whole bike company and business at risk for standing up for proper ethics and honesty. I wish that more people would do this in the sport of cycling. There are very few - the sport is paying the price for the dishonesty and the lies. The house of cards is cracking and it's coming down. I think it is a good thing for cycling - I think the Tour de France is an incredible event and as this culture and generation of the past is cleansed and they really attack the issue of doping."

"When I hear people say you can't win the Tour de France without drugs, well I did!" LeMond exclaimed. "If everybody starts clean from point A to point B, you are going to have a winner across that finish line. And I will tell you it will be more exciting."

When asked if his testimony was affected by the alleged phone call from the previous evening, LeMond said, "Nobody owns me, nobody in the world of cycling that wants to... there have been a lot of people that do not want to look at the truth about cycling because of economics. I have had an economic fall out - if they are trying to say I have an economic reason [to testify] I have an economic fall out. I am not somebody that can be bought off, silenced - I'm doing what's right. And what I felt was right was coming here and telling the truth."

Mr. Geoghegan declined comment as he quickly left the building with his girlfriend. Immediately following the recess, Landis' attorney Maurice Suh asked that the official record reflect that the business relationship between Mr. Landis and Mr. Geoghegan was dissolved, effective immediately.

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

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