Monday, June 30, 2008

Requiem for a Champion

Floyd Landis

“He’s in every aspect the toughest man, ever,” Amber says seriously. “Physically tough, mentally tough, he’s just one tough bitch.”
Amber Landis

Bill Hue*

I stopped having heroes sometime after I turned twelve and I figured out my parents weren’t gods. I grew up pretty quickly after that and soon set aside all childhood things. As an adult, I was trained in and entered the practice of the most cynical profession there is, the law, ultimately becoming a judge. Floyd Landis doesn’t want to be nor has he ever intended to be anyone’s hero. But he is my hero.

Floyd is not my hero because he is an American or because he won the Tour de France. Greg LeMond and/or Lance Armstrong are not my heroes and they won many more tours than Floyd has. Floyd is not my hero because of his epic ride on Stage 17 of the 2006 race. Without demeaning that ride, others in cycling have had similar epic single day rides throughout the years.

Floyd is my hero because in the face of the biggest travesties of “justice” I have ever seen, he stood proud, determined, true to himself and his family and did not bow to those who define “the game” by making its rules, prosecuting those deemed to violate those rules and then stack the deck with those responsible to judge those “violations”. He made them work for it and we are all the beneficiaries of his efforts even though he ultimately derived no benefit, whatsoever.

Today, the Court of Arbitration of Sport finally declared the winner of the 2006 Tour de France after 2273 miles and 708 days. Floyd Landis won the race on the road but lost it, inevitably, to WADA and its useful idiots at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, the international media and those who slavishly kneel at the alter of the anti-doping gods.

Landis beat the likes of Oscar Pierrero, Carlos Sastre and Levi Leipheimer on the road, fair and square but he could not overcome WADA’s minions, Travis Tygart and Richard Young in particular, Dick Pound, of course, the rubber stampers on both Panels who call themselves "neutrals" with smug straight faces and a host of others who act out of self preservation rather than justice because that playing field was in no way fair or even.

I’ll have more to say in the hours and days to come as I deconstruct the fable that was Landis’ anti-doping prosecution.

For now, I simply and humbly thank Floyd, Amber, Arnie, Maurice, Howard and Floyd’s family, many friends and supporters who fought a fight they could not win because it was the right thing to do.

I also wish to offer my sincere gratitude to Dave and Mrs. TBV and Paula and Mr. STRBUK for their dedication to truth, fairness and justice and to their daily sacrifices to keep this matter in the forefront of our attention.

This is a sad day for justice.


*Bill Hue is a Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge. His opinions here are strictly his own.


whareagle said...

I am humbled, saddened, frustrated, and angry to read this. I hope justice eventually prevails, but it does not seem that it will in this arena.

Floyd, you are and always will be a champion. Keep your head high.

Cycling Fan said...

Allez Allez Floyd. You are the 2006 Tour de France Champion.

Unknown said...

Bummer. That sucks.


Unknown said...

Totally sucks. After reading about 10 pages of Arnie's book this morning, I thought for sure Landis would win his appeal.

I guess the 'stink' rises a lot higher than most of us thought.

CAS really stuck it to Floyd, didn't adjust his suspension, and then want him to pay $100K to the USADA? What about WADA paying that fine for Floyd since they supported USADA so much...

Rubber Side Down said...

Politics, plain and simple.

There is no justice for the athletes who toil so hard to be brought down from lab ineptitude and cronies out only for political gain.

Sorry to see you go, Landy


Larry said...

Floyd lost, but not on the basis of the facts, the law or the arguments made by both sides. Floyd lost because the powers that be could not afford to admit that he won.

Anonymous said...

Very sad news. I was actually hopeful for Floyd. I hope he's willing to carry on, and comes back to kick some serious arse.

C-Fiddy said...

I am having a hard time finding the words...
Sorry Floyd.
I'll only say again that I will believe you doped when you tell me you did.
And a HUGE Thanks to TBV.

PEM said...

Very sad. Nothing new to say.

Floyd, you know what to expect when you visit this blog. Only you know the truth. Only the few that bother to come to this site know that WADA only poved their incompetence.

To me, you are a great role model with how you publicly handled the last 23 months.


Cycling Fan said...

I intend to continue my support of Floyd, both morally and financially (as I did thru FFF). I simply need to find where to send a check to help him pay this ridiculous award.

K said...

Sorry. So sorry. We met once at tour of california and you conducted yourself like the honorable man that you are. Hopefully, Jan 2009 will come soon and you will be racing shortly thereafter. Tell amber to keep her chin up.

Unknown said...

I was hoping beyond hope that somewhere in this farcical system that there would be two people with enough integrity to do the right thing. Apparently that is too much to ask from this morally corrupt system. They could not find "a departure from the international standard occurred"? Not a single ONE? And LNDD gets the presumption that they know what they are doing? WTH
Politics at its perverted worst.

Floyd will always be the champion of the 2006 Tour de france.

And many many thanks to TBV, and all the others who made valuable contributions, for the years of work. As with many others, this is the first place I come most days. Your efforts are truly appreciated.

Unknown said...

A round of applause for Floyd. A never ending round of distain for the corrupt system.

Floyd has fought a great fight. He didn’t get what was just and he didn’t get what he deserved.

We had full access to the Malibu proceedings, and they were illuminating. So far, we have only bits and pieces from CAS. Taken separately, or in total, it just doesn’t add up.
The overall decision(s) do not add up. The suspension start date does not add up. The monetary fine for costs does not add up.

What doesn’t add up it that the WADA/USADA/LNDD side couldn’t even get it’s witnesses/attorneys to agree to the specific method by which the carbon isotope testing was accomplished. What doesn’t add up is that missing documents which tend to plug holes in various USADA arguments miraculously appear at CAS, but in a format that indicates they were produced fraudulently. What doesn’t add up is that the panel doesn’t seem to care how they were produced.

What does add up is the many ISL violations committed by LNDD and pointed out with specificity by the Landis legal team. (See closing briefs) Floyd’s team made their case for the violations.

What doesn’t add up is the CAS panel’s denial that the athlete did not rebut the assumption that WADA-accredited lab (bad joke) conducted sample analysis in accordance with international laboratory standards.

If this is really the justification for the rejection of the Landis appeal, then anyone with the scientific acumen of someone who got as little as a C- in Chemistry 101 should be assumed competent to conduct sensitive tests on world class athletes.

This was never really about the science of a search for truth. This was about politics, at its worse, all along. We had dared to hope for better. Floyd hoped for better.

All I can say to those who have done wrong and caused harm, during this poor excuse for a process, is that kharma is a bitch, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, and McCarthyism is sadly alive and well in the world of sports. Watch your back.

Ride on Floyd. Find your peace and happiness where you can.

Unknown said...

Floyd: we too still believe you are the champion. Such a sad day for all cycling fans.

Bill Hue: can you suggest any grounds for getting this matter before a U.S. court? Defamation? Does the gross misconduct of the lab amount to "intentional infliction of emotional distress"? Does any jurisdiction recognize negligent interference with ocntract?

surely there is a forum somewhere where justice has a chance.

bill and mary clarke

Laura Challoner, DVM said...

I just don't know of any civil routes Floyd take. Any "real" court will be appalled by this system but the Stevens Act pretty much gives carte blanche to WADA and eliminates any US Court over-sight.

Nancy Toby said...

I'm sorry, Floyd.
Here's to you, Champ.

Cheryl from Maryland said...

I'm so sorry Floyd. You did your best as a championship athlete and as a righeous and honorable man. It's a travesty that others were not farsighted enough to understand that you are the solution and not the problem.

I know you and your family can move forward and be well. Hold your head high because you are valiant.

Cheryl Washer

Ken ( said...

This travesty of justice only seems to get worse. Floyd Landis still has my respect as much for the way he fought the good fight off his bike as for the way he road his bike.

For me the joy of watching professional cycling (especially the Tour de France) is over. i don't know that I will ever watch another TDF again.