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Landis brings doping accusations to US television

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Floyd Landis looking fast on the way out.

Floyd Landis looking fast on the way out. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/
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Floyd Landis at the Tour of California.

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

Floyd Landis further exposed his allegations against Lance Armstrong’s use of performance enhancing drugs on national television in an interview aired on the American broadcast television network ABC News Nightline at 11:35 EST on Friday, July 23.

For the first time on camera, Landis spoke to ABC News Nightline correspondent Neal Karlinsky in Bend, Oregon where he is currently racing in the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic from July 20-25.

"Look, at some point, people have to tell their kids that Santa Claus isn't real," Landis said. "I hate to be the guy to do it, but it's just not real."

Karlinsky opened with a series of questions pertaining to Landis’ accusations that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his career.

Asked if he saw Armstrong taking a blood transfusion more than once, Landis said, “Yes, multiple times.” Asked if he saw Armstrong using performance enhancing drugs Landis said, “At times yeah, at different training camps.” And when asked what specific substances, Landis said, “Well there is not a whole lot that helps. Like I said, there is EPO [Erythropoietin] you can use and you can use small amounts during the Tour de France if you need to monitor certain parameters that are better tested for or that are changed during blood transfusions.”

In May, Landis admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout most of his professional cycling career, including his 2006 Tour de France victory. He was stripped of that title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone and vehemently denied doping for the last four years.

The confessions reached boiling point when he went on to make sweeping accusations against his previous teams and teammates of doping, including his former US Postal teammate Lance Armstrong and manager Johan Bruyneel in a series of emails sent to cycling officials and Cyclingnews.

Landis not only denied his positive test after the 2006 Tour de France, he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in an attempt to clear his name, established the Floyd Fairness Fund and wrote a book entitled Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour, published in 2007.

When asked if he is accusing Lance Armstrong of being a liar, Landis said, “I denied it as well. Yes, I suppose if that is the question, yes.”

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitsky is heading a criminal investigation that is primarily focused on the US Postal Service team. Landis is cooperating with a federal grand jury investigation where subpoenas have reportedly been issued to several former members of the US Postal Service team.

When asked if Lance Armstrong is a fraud, Landis said, “Well, it depends on what your definition of fraud is. I mean look, if he didn't win the Tour, someone else that was doped would have won the Tour. In every single one of those Tours."

Armstrong had denied all allegations and his previous criminal defense attorney, Tim Herman, argued that the seven-time Tour de France winner had undergone more than 300 anti-doping tests in his career, the most tested athlete in cycling and he has never failed one.

In the interview, Herman stated that Landis has no credibility and that Armstrong is "an athlete that comes along once every couple of generations. He is extremely focused. He's gifted physically in ways that are very unique and he is disciplined, dedicated. He's the hardest-working athlete I've ever been around...Landis is a confessed perjurer and he is a liar, and I think, as Lance said ... when you taste milk to see if it's sour, you take a first taste and you don't have to drink the whole carton to know it's all sour."

Others highlighted in the interview included Armstrong’s former teammate Frankie Andreu’s wife Betsy Andreu and former US Postal Service team soigneur Emma O’Reilly who worked for the team from 1998-2000.

Some of the footage of Landis used in the ABC News Nightline program was take during the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic, a six-stage race where ABC News was scheduled in advance to interview and film the controversial cyclist.

When asked why he chose to come forward to ABC News Landis said, “It’s about the truth. It’s about me feeling better for having mislead the public. I would like to take this opportunity to just say that I’m sorry for having lied. I’m glad I don’t have to lie. It was hard to do interviews where I was lying. I didn’t feel good about those.”