Floyd Landis has spoken about Tyler Hamilton's confession for doping and allegations made by the former Olympic champion surrounding Lance Armstrong. Hamilton's allegations come roughly a year since Landis rocked the world of cycling with his own confession over the use of drugs and the roles of several key figures within the sport, including Armstrong, the US Postal team and the UCI.
Hamilton was speaking to "60 minutes" but also sent out an email to friends and family in which he explained his reasons for coming clean. Landis was sent the email, although not by Hamilton. Armstrong has strenuously denied all allegations.
"His letter pretty much says it all," Landis told Cyclingnews.
"I hope he finds what he's looking for and what he says in the letter. I wish him the best. He's a person that got caught in a bad situation and although it can be hard for people to understand from the outside, I hope they try. That's all you can ask for really."
Asked if Hamilton's words had given him a sense of vindication, Landis denied that such emotions were at play, and instead focussed on the human aspect of Hamilton's confession and the future.
"For me it's not about vindication or making a point or justifying what I did. I feel the same sentiment in Tyler's letter, or at least felt it a lot stronger a year ago. It's a complicated story," he told Cyclingnews.
"What I do know of him is that he's a sincere guy and that he found himself in a dilemma, just like I did."
"It's hard for me to know what the real fans' sentiment is. It's easy for me to see the negative comments about by myself so it's hard for me to know if people are that obsessed with the subject. If it was me I would like to know the truth, what the situation is and what really goes on."
"I don't know what the solution is and it's unfortunate that this subject distracts from the race again but it's here and it's the facts."
Armstrong was quick to deny Hamilton's claims, a similar move he played last year with Landis. In a statement released by his legal counsel he stated:
"Tyler Hamilton just duped the CBS Evening News, 60 Minutes and Scott Pelley all in one fell swoop. Hamilton is actively seeking to make money by writing a book, and now he has completely changed the story he has always told before so that he could get himself on 60 Minutes and increase his chances with publishers. But greed and a hunger for publicity cannot change the facts: Lance Armstrong is the most tested athlete in the history of sports: He has passed nearly 500 tests over twenty years of competition."
However Landis countered the last sentence, mentioning the as yet unproven allegations he made last year in which he stated that the UCI had covered up a positive doping control on behalf of Armstrong. "500 tests that come back negative is meaningless because the tests don't work. All the negative tests in the world don't hide the fact that there were positive tests that were covered up."
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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