I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to check my email before returning to bed. The first thing I saw was an email from Mark with a link to this article in the Wall Street Journal.
Regarding doping, I became a cynic long ago. I always knew something like this would happen someday, but I'm still surprised now that it's happened.
Before I go on, I should acknowledge that none of Landis's accusations have been substantiated yet. But I don't doubt them. Cycling is full of rumors and vague accusations, but Landis has been very specific in naming names and describing exactly when and how the doping took place. After his prolonged legal battle, I'm sure Landis learned enough about libel laws to know better than to make stuff like this up. Besides, what he says is much easier to believe than the alternative (that Armstrong et al are clean). You don't have to trust Landis or even like him--it's hard to believe he's making this stuff up.
It's disheartening. If everything Landis says is true, can anyone believe that any ProTour rider (at least, any rider who wins things) is clean? And if not, that means that every developing rider with genuine talent will at some point in his career have to choose between integrity and success. That's sad.
I wonder why Landis chose to come forward now. After all, he still has (had) a career in cycling (although not like he used to, or like the riders he accuses still have). And his emails will no doubt lose him many friends and cause him plenty of trouble. But I'm glad he came forward, because someone needed to do it.
Of course, it's not like riders haven't come forward before, and I doubt this will change anything. The European cycling world will probably use this to discredit American cyclists while celebrating the accomplishments of riders like Contador. And the sporting world in general will probably use this to discredit cycling while celebrating the accomplishments of other "clean" athletes (does anyone know exactly how many soccer player were implicated in Operacion Puerto? Why do we never hear about them?). And life will go on as usual.
Anyways, it's late and I've been typing away without much thought. But I felt like I needed to write something before I went back to sleep, and I stand by everything I've written (except the typos).