Most sources reprint last night's Agence France Presse story. Le Monde goes with a translation of a Reuters dispatch. La Gazzetta dello Sport prints a news brief from the AGR news agency. Agence France Presse itself updates its story to the following.
Greg LeMond testimony puts Floyd Landis in a bad light
Greg LeMond, former American cyclist, made two revelations Thursday in testimony to the trial of Floyd Landis, accused of doping during his victorious 2006 Tour de France: that he was "sexually abused" and that the "Landis clan" had used this fact to intimidate him.
Over three and a half days, the testimony of four experts--two independent experts and two technicians from the LNDD--had revealed that the technicians had committed some "errors" in their procedures. Errors that Christiane Ayotte, director of the antidoping lab of Montreal, judged without consequences for the results of their analyses.
But Thursday afternoon the hearing took a turn less closely attached to the case per se, but much more "explosive." Once arrived in the hearing room of the University of Pepperdine in Malibu, LeMond put his compatriot's image in a bad light.
Questioned by USADA attorney Matthew Barnett, LeMond explained he had been "sexually abused" in his youth, and had shared this confession with Landis during a telephone conversation August 6.
This revelation, which seems very distant from the Landis case, took on its full meaning when the triple winner of the Grand Boucle explained that he had received a telephone call Wednesday evening, attributed (after investigation) to Will Geoghegan, one of Landis' friends and representatives present at the hearing.
"He (the caller) said, 'It's your uncle' . . . I only have one uncle whom I haven't seen in 20 years. I then said, 'You want to stop that right now, it's aggravating,' " LeMond began. Mr. Geoghegan is then said to have added, "I will be there tomorow [Thursday] and we will talk aout the way you used to hide your 'dick,' " continued LeMond, who said he immediately had recognized an intimidation.
After a suspension of the hearing for around 45 minutes, and a vain attempt by Landis' lawyers to have LeMond's testimony stricken, lawyers for both sides agreed on a delay to prepare for Mr. Geoghegan's testimony. (Mr. Geoghegan was immediately stripped of his functions as a representative of Landis.)
Less shocking but every bit as instructive, LeMond's testimony also dealt with the August 6 telephone conversation in the course of which he had revealed his "secret." Landis had called LeMond that day to complain about "unpleasant" comments LeMond had made when he learned about Landis' positive drug test following the 17th stage of the Tour de France, some days earlier.
"I was very clear regarding the fac that I was not prejudging what he had or had not done, because the results of the B sample were not known. I said to him, "if you did do it, you can chanage the sport. You can be the one who saves the sport," LeMond explained. "For whose benefit would I do that?" Landis is then said to have replied. LeMond did not specify whether Landis was speaking of having doped and of confessing to having doped.