Unconfirmed email says Landis is home in California, training his pen hand for the continuation of Le Tour de Book, and maybe logging some miles for the Leadville 100. This suggests no guerrilla invasion of the UK or France in the offing.
The IHT has the rumor mill churning out on thing after another, and it's mostly about Floyd Landis. They report that now tomorrow the arb decision will be announced prior to the beginning of the Tur de France on London. This can be viewed as either a way to overshadow the start of the Tour, or an attempt to wipe the slate clean from last year. Another story making the rounds is that Floyd Landis will show up in person in London to publicize his book. Finally Oscar Pereiro is still whining about what he had taken from him this year by the Landis controversy, and that he has now had all the fun taken out of racing.
Newsweek also tackles the subject of the crossroads cycling now finds itself in with Frankie Andreu expressing his opinion that Floyd Landis was the tipping point in sending cycling over the edge into chaos. The truth in cycling may lie somewhere between the optimistic view presented in "Positively False" , that there is not widespread doping in cycling, and the pessimistic opinions expressed in David Walsh's book,"From Lance to Landis":
As Landis's legal team has pointed out on numerous occasions, doping tests are not the same as pregnancy tests—they are procedurally complex, and require interpretation by scientists. But that doesn't leaven the public perception that pro cyclists live in a bizarre parallel universe where scientific results are no more trustworthy than gossip on a bathroom wall In "Positively False," Landis admits as much, but adds that because a rider is "assumed to be guilty from the very beginning," the accused has no choice but to proclaim his innocence—even in the face of a positive test. To say anything less would amount to admitting guilt. He mounts his defense by first presenting his rise to Tour champion from humble Mennonite roots in Pennsylvania. The tone is upbeat, and Landis comes across as a focused, if rebellious, cyclist with tremendous talent. For the first 10 chapters, there's almost no mention of drug use in cycling, except to make the point that he followed the UCI's and the World Anti-Doping Agency's rules to the letter. The way to win the Tour, according to Landis, is simple: train harder and longer than everyone else. Drugs don’t enter the equation. The last five chapters, which Landis's lawyers admit violates a gag order issued by the USADA, focus on his pending case and amount to an indictment of the World Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI, the USADA and the French lab that conducted his doping tests—organizations, Landis says, that attack innocent athletes while letting the real cheaters slip away.The key to winning the Tour, according to David Walsh's "From Lance to Landis," is to dope harder than everyone else. Walsh has done his research, and he presents pages of interviews with former U.S. Postal riders and staffers, including Andreu. But in his quest to take down Lance Armstrong, Walsh fails to find hard evidence.
Boston Globe/Bonnie DeSimone (moved from ESPN?) writes about the state of the sport on the eve of the tour:
If this is not the Tour of Credibility, it's at the very least a Tour of Transition that will unfold in an increasingly tenuous economic environment for the sport.
The Berkshire Eagle Online posts an AP report mirroring the rumor of an announcement from the Floyd Landis arbitration hearings will be made tomorrow in London with Floyd Landis' appeal decision now cast as possibly stealing the thunder from the beginning of an already lackluster Tour.
AP lists Landis, Ullrich, Basso and Petacchi as non-starters for the Tour.
The San Diego Tribune previews tomorrow's Tour de France beginning with what has become typical for this year a pessimistic look forward at the race and cycling itself with more than one mention that the defending champion will not be there.
Active.com has Dugard's tour reports, and today he talks of the various bits of symbolism in Peirero wearing 11 and starting the Prologue last, typically the spot of the defending champion.
JimboTalk Radio/America in the Morning had Landis on today, audio only. Asked about favorites this year, Landis doesn't duck with the "not me, I don't care" he's done before, and picks Vino.
The Herald Bulletin posts an editorial about the preponderance of asterisks in sports today, and feels that Floyd Landis has been fitted for one himself and that it is hoped that last year's Tour de France results are written in pencil rather than ink.
Chicago Tribune/Philip Hersh covers Mr. Pound's last address to the assembled IOC as WADA chair, praising his, "ability to mix wit and wisdom." Hersh thinks the anti-doping fight will miss Mr. Pound, no matter what Armstrong and Landis think.
USA Today covered Mr. Pound's remarks, including threatening observations how few sports and federations were in compliance:
[A] WADA report distributed at the meeting Friday showed that 13 of the 35 Olympic sports federations were not in compliance as of May 4. It also indicated that only 21 of the world's 203 national Olympic committees had complied. The report did not identify the sports or committees.Blogs
Pound said he hoped the warning would prod them to action before a report by WADA in September. If any of the federations still fail to comply by a WADA board meeting in November 2008, the agency will report those sports to the IOC for possible action....
Without singling out cycling as one of the offenders, Pound said the sport's governing body - the UCI - had allowed doping "to get out of hand."
"It's not only organized, it's endemic," Pound said, adding that the sport's credibility "is in shreds."
Pound said WADA wants to increase the punishment for "aggravated" doping violations from a two-year suspension to a ban of up to four years. Research has found that the benefit from using anabolic steroids "may last longer than the two years," he said.
Rant apologizes to The Stones and adapts the lyrics to a song that must tell it all for Floyd Landis and the waiting game he now finds himself in
Viva Les Alpes wants Landis to stay away from the Tour this year.
Freakonomics is having a hard time believing anyone is clean.
Multichannel News says don't watch this year. Gives a fair and accurate brief description of the Landis case.
Ordinary Bo picks up on the rumor that the Landis decision is imminent.
Nag Nag Nag isn't going to the let the Landis affair ruin his appreciation of the Tour de France. He assumes that all cyclists cheat and therefore the race is fair.
Josh Tinley.com wonders if the Tour de France is worth his time in light of the Landis story from this past year.
Music City Blogger read Josh Tinley's piece this AM and she thinks that it's not the fans who are to blame for doping, but the participants themselves. In any case she, will be following and covering the Tour de France this year, and even though it may be a tour of disillusionment for some she still thinks of Floyd Landis as one of her favorites.
Cycling is Life is irked about Peirero getting the number 11.
AJ Fortin runs down some tour-related numbers, like a Harper's index. He's all over Peirero's 11 too.
Two For Elbowing cites Mercury News, and still isn't happy with Landis:
It's not just Landis, who's yet to show me anything that causes me to remotely want to believe he's not dirty;
Bitch Kittie is half believing the decision today rumors, but hasn't found anything substantive. She sends Bobke a Happy Birthday! and so should everyone else.
Seabendy looks at the Tour, and wonders if Zabriskie is feeling guilt by association with Landis.
Neil@Road is frustrated by the time to resolve the Landis case, and thinks all the onus has fallen on the athlete. He's looking forward to the Prologue.
Bicycling's Boulder Report is on "Verdict Watch day 44", and still gives us a plug, despite having and has lost all sympathy for Landis:
I think he’s pursued as vicious, vindictive a case, built on selectively trumpeted evidence, as he accuses the prosecution of doingJohnny Baseball touches on the Landis "verdict today" fantasy, and notes he hasn't gotten an answer back from several queries to USADA. He shouldn't take it personally -- We haven't even gotten a "no comment" from them on contacts since September, even though we're polite and don't ask about the Landis case.
Sports Pastor (not Cal) is running a tournament and in a first round match pits Floyd Landis against Tony Stewart.
The Ignatian Perspective concludes a long piece about the meditative qualities of exercise with this:
And if I may add, isn’t American Tour de France winner, Floyd Landis, about to be exonerated of charges against his most recent tour win?
FictionWise is hustling Positively False as an e-book.
The Regal Vizsla just notices TBV, and thinks the ruling has been delayed only a day. We think that is unlikely -- we'd have been taking the week of the 10th in the pool.
Harm Ideas is waiting for the ruling and Ullrich's confession. Hope he isn't deferring anything like eating.
Peloton Jim continues the Pope Watch with the sun setting on a disappointed square, the day's smoke as black as the night.