Floyd Landis defence fund at centre of federal fraud probe

FBI was already investigating rider stripped of 2006 TDF win at time he made allegations against Lance Armstrong and others

by Simon_MacMichael   April 30, 2012  

Floyd Landis (© Photosport International)

Floyd Landis, whose accusations of doping against Lance Armstrong and other members of the former US Postal Service team were at the centre of a federal grand jury enquiry that was shelved earlier this year, is now himself the target of a fraud investigation related to funds he raised to try and clear his own name following a positive drugs test in the 2006 Tour de France.

Landis, who won that race, was stripped of his overall victory but continued to protest his innocence in a series of court hearings until eventually confessing to doping in May 2010, at the same time as he made his allegations against his former team.

Now aged 36, Landis had ridden himself back into contention for the maillot jaune in the 2006 Tour following a storming solo win in the Alps in Stage 17 to Morzine-Avoriaz, the day after he had lost ten minutes to his rivals. He subsequently tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

In an attempt to clear his name, Landis raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay lawyers’ fees and other costs through his Floyd Fairness Fund, although in September 2007, he lost an appeal against the United States Anti-Doping Agency, with the UCI subsequently formally stripping him of the 2006 Tour de France title.

According to reports in media including the New York Daily Post, that fund was already being investigated by FBI agents in Spring 2010, when they approached Landis to ask him questions about it, which could partly explain why, shortly afterwards, he decided to confess his own past and make allegations against Armstrong and others.

It is unclear for now whether any kind of deal was struck with investigators, although at the time he admitted doping, many who had contributed to Landis's defence fund took to online forums to ask whether by making his confession, he would lay himself open to a fraud investigation. That question now appears to have been answered.

The New York Daily Post says that this month Landis was sent a letter notifying him of an investigation by the United States Attorney’s office for the Southern District of California in San Diego. It adds that the inquiry is separate to the Los Angles-based one into Armstrong and other former US Postal Service staff which was dropped in February this year.

The newspaper states that sources indicate that the investigation into Landis is being led by assistant United States Attorney Phillip Halpern, who has in the past been involved in a number of high-profile fraud cases in the country, although he declined to comment on the case.

In November last year, Landis and his coach Arnie Baker were convicted in absentia by a French court in connection with charges of hacking into the records of the WADA accredited laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry, operated by France's anti-doping agency, the AFLD, in an attempt to gather evidence in his defence.

Last month, it was reported that the pair had lodged appeals against that decision.
 

12 user comments

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I'm 45, I hope by the time I die there is an answer to the Floyd/Armstong who did what to whom when questions, but somehow I doubt I'll live to see it...

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [304 posts]
30th April 2012 - 14:41

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Seem's that no-one on the forum was interested in this one Wink

http://road.cc/content/forum/57290-floyd-landis-again-fraud

Alotronic, I'm 28 and don't think the Landis/Armstrong case will ever be cleared up. No-one knows the whole truth and unless the come out with it. I doubt we'll ever know

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9038 posts]
30th April 2012 - 17:08

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More chance of JFKs killer being brought to justice !

posted by garethhoward [3 posts]
30th April 2012 - 17:17

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Floyd doped, got caught. Lied about doping. Eventually told the truth.

Armstrong doped, got caught (99TdF cortisone, 99TdF samples retested EPO+, 2001 TdSuisse EPO+) got off, bribed UCI, met head of doping Luasanne Lab to learn how to avoid positives etc..etc..... Still lies about doping to protect his fraudulent charity which earns him millions.

What's not to understand.

posted by Decster [246 posts]
30th April 2012 - 19:18

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@Decstar - you hit the nail on the head.

mr-andrew's picture

posted by mr-andrew [300 posts]
1st May 2012 - 7:12

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@Decstar You are probably right, but while I beleive Landis to be right (though he's never exactly helped his own cause much) I find it hard to beleive LA could be so wrong if that makes sense... the guy would have to be not just a cheat but epically corrupt, particularly regarding the charity angle. I need proof!

alotronic's picture

posted by alotronic [304 posts]
1st May 2012 - 8:57

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Landis has come clean (pardon the pun) on his past doping. But he seriously needs better PR advice, he seems to go from one fiasco to another.

Regarding Armstrong....I basically think the lie has got to big to be exposed. I believe it inconceivable that he managed to compete clean and dominate throughout the 'EPO years' Other clean riders' careers were ruined during this period by trying to keep up with the doped-up peloton, Lemond, Baissons etc

posted by bauchlebastart [87 posts]
1st May 2012 - 12:03

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bauchlebastart wrote:

I believe it inconceivable that he managed to compete clean and dominate throughout the 'EPO years' Other clean riders' careers were ruined during this period by trying to keep up with the doped-up peloton, Lemond, Baissons etc

Agreed. We just don't see anymore, the superhuman performances that characterised the EPO years. I supported Lance at the time, but with hindsight, don't now remember it with the affection that, for example, I have for memories of watching Fignon and Lemond battle it out.

Talking of which, Laurent Fignon is quite clear on this in his memoirs, noting that while on good strong form in one of the grand tours, he was passed on a climb, not by an exceptional one or two, but by thirty or forty, some of which weren't even classy riders. He thought he was getting old, and it was time for the next generation to come through, but with hindsight, recognised that his naivety had blinkered him to the emergence of a two-speed peleton.

I seem to remember Lance flirting with the 8-minute mark for Alpe d'huez. Anyone know what the last recorded time was for a reputedly clean athlete like Evans or Wiggins? Gkam, you'll know! Big Grin

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3468 posts]
1st May 2012 - 13:00

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notfastenough, I have also read Fignon's book. He says that when Riis was his team mate he was a good rider, but certainly not capable of winning the Tour de France without EPO.

I think you mean the 38 minute mark for Alpe d'Huez. The wikipedia page for Alpe d'Huez makes interesting reading.
The fastest time pre-1990s is 41.50 by Fignon and Herrera. Only 1 person has gone under 40 mins since 2006, which was Sastre in the 08 TdF. The fastest ascent in last year's stage was 41.21 by Samuel Sanchez, 24th on the all time list. Compare that to the fastest ever 37.35 by Pantani & 37.36 by Armstrong. Can todays best climbers really be 4 mins slower than those of the 90s/early 00s?

posted by NeilG83 [260 posts]
1st May 2012 - 13:58

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Oops, sorry, think I missed a digit! You've nailed my sentiment though; equipment is continually getting better/lighter, nutrition is better understood, teams are specialising, but the current worlds' best are four minutes slower?! That says more than anything else.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3468 posts]
1st May 2012 - 16:04

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@alotronic - http://www.statesman.com/business/demand-media-ipo-delivers-windfall-to-... 5th from last paragraph. Basically the name Livestrong.org is a charity , livestrong.com is a for profit company. Things get blurred, there's money to be made!

Sent from my Nokia Brick

posted by Bike Codes [2 posts]
1st May 2012 - 17:30

1 Like

Decster wrote:
Floyd doped, got caught. Lied about doping. Eventually told the truth.

Armstrong doped, got caught (99TdF cortisone, 99TdF samples retested EPO+, 2001 TdSuisse EPO+) got off, bribed UCI, met head of doping Luasanne Lab to learn how to avoid positives etc..etc..... Still lies about doping to protect his fraudulent charity which earns him millions.

What's not to understand.


Great post Decster... couldn't agree more Wink

One thing confuses me though? I thought Armstrong could only be done for fraud because of the US Postal company being a federal company? thats how I understood it anyway.
Can't see why Floyds team Phonak a swiss company would qualify for fraud under a U.S investigation?

...OK now I get it they are talking about Floyds defence fund... that naive people donated money for his false defence always amazed me!!!

Paulo's picture

posted by Paulo [110 posts]
6th May 2012 - 17:20

1 Like