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Lance Armstrong is reportedly looking to build bridges with former US Postal team mate, and one of his chief accusers over doping, Floyd Landis. The apparent move by Armstrong to seek a rapprochement with Landis comes ahead of his being interviewed later today by Oprah Winfrey, when he is expected to make a limited admission to doping.

However, according to USA Today, sources familiar with the situation say that Landis has to date rebuffed attempts by Armstrong to bring about a reconciliation between the pair.

When Landis went public with admitting to his own doping in July 2010 as well as providing details of Armstrong’s own use of performance enhancing drugs, his former team leader, who was about to start that year’s Tour de France in Rotterdam, described him as “a person with zero credibility.”

While Landis had himself spend several years denying the drug-taking that brought him victory in the 2006 Tour de France, his belated admission helped form a crucial part of the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s case against Armstrong. 

The question many will ask is why it is news of Armstrong seeking to mend his relationship with Landis has leaked out when there are many others who should arguably be higher up the queue for an apology from the man who was banned for life and stripped of results including those seven Tour de France titles won between 1999 and 2005.

The answer most likely lies in the ‘whistleblower’ case filed by Landis in September 2010 against Armstrong and others connected with the former US Postal Service team, in which he says they effectively defrauded the US government, in the form of the team’s sponsor, of up to $30 million by operating a systematic doping programme.

A spokesman for Armstrong described Landis at the time as “an epic cheater," although with seven Tour de France titles stripped compared to his former team mate’s one, the Texan seems to have comprehensively outdone him on that score.

Today, Armstrong is being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey at his home in Austin, Texas, with the programme being screened on Thursday evening as well as being streamed live worldwide. It has been reported that he will admit doping, but without naming methods, substances or other parties involved.

Ahead of today’s interview, Armstrong contacted “key people in the cycling community” to admit he had concealed the truth about his doping, reports the Washington Post.

Whether those individuals include the likes of his former masseuse Emma O’Reilly, team mate’s wife Betsy Andreu or the ostracised former riders Christophe Bassons and Filippo Simeoni, who are all among those who suffered in some way from the determined attempts of Armstrong to protect his reputation against any insinuation he doped his way to victory, is not recorded, although the reference to "key people' suggest not.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

14 comments

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festival [105 posts] 3 years ago
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Just got in a bulk buy of tissues ready for the show............NOT!

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dstuk [6 posts] 3 years ago
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"Today, Armstrong is being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey at his home in Austin, Texas, with the programme being screened on Thursday evening as well as being streamed live worldwide."

bit confused - is it being screened live, or recorded today??

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Leviathan [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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dstuk wrote:

"Today, Armstrong is being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey at his home in Austin, Texas, with the programme being screened on Thursday evening as well as being streamed live worldwide."

bit confused - is it being screened live, or recorded today??

I think they are suggesting it will be 'as live' with no edits. We will see if we get to see lance pausing, umming, erring and parsing his statements. In reality he will probably be as polished as Tony Blair.

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Dr. Ko [149 posts] 3 years ago
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As I understood they will tape it today and show it on Thursday. "Live" in that respect can only mean un-cut.

I think he may excuse for how he treated some people, but I do not expect the big confession - unless a legal deal was reached upfront.  44

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Leviathan [1773 posts] 3 years ago
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On another point, I am starting to feel sorry for Floyd Landis. He was totally vilified at the time of his doping scandal, he was the one who received all the flack that Lance should have had. LA is so good at stonewalling by now it seem like it is having little impact on him.

True FL did the dope, fought then took the wrap, but he came into Lance's team. Sure he chose to join USPS/Disco thinking he had a good chance there and he could have walked away. But with so many others doing it at the time he may not have much choice if he wanted to win. Ultimately the team culture was down to Lance.

LA could have doped and won in '99 and then stopped, but he didn't, he went on and on and draw another generation of riders into it. I don't see why FL would ever want to talk to him again. And I can see more tell all books on the horizon.

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Rodzzz [2 posts] 3 years ago
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Here is a preview of the interview at http://sorrysods.com

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Simon_MacMichael [2442 posts] 3 years ago
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Just to explain, "streamed live" as in streamed at the same time it airs in the US.

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ubercurmudgeon [169 posts] 3 years ago
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bikeboy76 wrote:

On another point, I am starting to feel sorry for Floyd Landis. He was totally vilified at the time of his doping scandal, he was the one who received all the flack that Lance should have had.

I wouldn't shed a tear for Flandis. He wouldn't have confessed if Lance had helped him during his abortive comeback from his ban. And, say what you like about Lance, at least he paid for his own lawyers. I may be wrong, but I think those people who continued to the Floyd Fairness Fund are still waiting for their money back.

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Wookster [53 posts] 3 years ago
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The best summing up of the whole lance Floyd thing Ive read was that Armstrong's biggest error was not understanding Landis

Both cheated, both should stay banned.

Interesting to read this in light of Cookes retirement.

*edited to make a readable post....cold hands and predictive text don't mix!

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monty dog [446 posts] 3 years ago
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Lance paid for his own lawyers? I think you'll find that was Livestrong and the unsuspecting public who thought they were funding a cancer charity.

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notfastenough [3661 posts] 3 years ago
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"he will admit doping, but without naming methods, substances or other parties involved."

So what's the point? He can't expect to go back to competition on those terms, surely?!

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andyp [1436 posts] 3 years ago
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what monty dog said.

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Colin Peyresourde [1636 posts] 3 years ago
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I wouldn't shed a tear for Flandis. He wouldn't have confessed if Lance had helped him during his abortive comeback from his ban. And, say what you like about Lance, at least he paid for his own lawyers. I may be wrong, but I think those people who continued to the Floyd Fairness Fund are still waiting for their money back.[/quote]

Well I would take ten Floyd Landis' everyday of the week over Armstrong. Landis didn't bully, lie or sell out his fellow riders. The mistake he made him has cost him a lot. I have a lot of sympathy for him. I haven't seen any genuine contrition from LA yet. I'm sure he's ready to dive to new uncharted depths of despicability in my opinion.

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Lacticlegs [124 posts] 3 years ago
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monty dog wrote:

Lance paid for his own lawyers? I think you'll find that was Livestrong and the unsuspecting public who thought they were funding a cancer charity.

Abso-bloody-lutely! Paid for his own lawyers? WTF??

Nothing that Lance has belongs to him - every penny was cheated swindled and stolen.

Floyd is a bit of a prat for sure - but he at least has the excuse that he really did come into a set-up where the only way to succeed was to do what the winners were doing.

Lance made his debut the year after the Festina affair for crying out loud! It was probably the cleanest peloton in years (admittedly only out of fear of getting caught), and one of the best chances to swing momentum towards a cleaner sport - Lance screwed it, us and them.

To say nothing of all that crap about 'I'm a cancer survivor - I would never put anything like that into my body.' Bald-faced liar doesn't even touch it - the man is damn near being a sociopath. Lock him up.