By Susan Westemeyer
Did Floyd Landis dope? "Of course not," said Phonak team physician Dr. Denise Demir to German tabloid Bild. "I would put my hand in the fire for him. It is unbelievable what is happening with him. The damage to his image is gigantic."
Doctor Demir added "the testosterone test is controversial, some say that it is faulty. And there are sharp swings in testosterone levels. In addition to his hip problem, Floyd has thyroid problems - that could have affected the testosterone levels. Plus he drank both beer and whiskey on the evening before the stage. Alcohol consumption can also have an influence, which was news to me."
But how could Landis have turned in such an overwhelming performance after his breakdown the day before, the doctor was asked?
"Based on training data, we can show that Floyd is capable of such a performance," said Dr. Demir, who is responsible for supervising the training program for Landis, Robert Hunter and Victor Hugo Peña. "On the 17th stage, he rode five hours with about 360 watts. In training he could do that for eight hours. And you have to take into consideration that he had more or less rested the day before." By that, she meant that his poor performance the previous day was because he hadn't eaten enough - "therefore he couldn't pedal with his full wattage".
"In America you are innocent until proven guilty. That should apply in Europe, too," she said.