Investigation into Landis claims widens to include Interpol

Floyd Landis at the Tour of California.

Floyd Landis at the Tour of California. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

An investigation into claims of widespread, organized doping made by Floyd Landis against his former teams has been broadened to include the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).

The new development was confirmed by the World Anti Doping Agency's general director David Howman, whose agency has helped the United States federal investigators gain the cooperation of the European agency.

Statements by Floyd Landis in May led the US Food and Drug Administration to launch the investigation into claims that his former US Postal team engaged in organized doping practices and that Lance Armstrong was one of the riders to take part.

Armstrong has vehemently denied that Landis's statements have any merit, but this has not stopped the inquiry from widening.

"This investigation has been going on for many weeks and I think it is a significant inquiry," Howman told AFP. "And it's one that might go on for many more weeks because it essentially started with a US inquiry and is spreading. We've been persuading people to cooperate and think that would be helpful."

The fact that WADA is helping to give Landis's claims more merit by encouraging the investigation is ironic, considering that it spent large sums fighting against the deposed 2006 Tour champion in year-long arbitration hearings in Landis's own doping case.

"We have to say we were disappointed at having to spend so much money pursuing Mr. Landis, but you can't say that's something which should stop you from listening to him," Howman said. "That would show a closed mind."

Landis testified under oath during his arbitration that he had not used performance enhancing drugs during his time with US Postal, but reversed that with his claims made public during the Tour of California.

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