Sunday, November 12, 2006

Landis on Stade 2, French TV

We have at least two reports of Landis's interview appearance on Stade 2, and since it isn't broadcast here, we'll present the reports we have in entirety here rather than in the Roundup. We have long reports from pugdog and Marc, more as we find them.

The actual video (with Landis speaking English) is here, and plays for most people.


First, from pugdog on DPF :

I just saw the interview. It was done in California. Floyd was the alpha and the omega of Stade 2. At the start of the program he welcomed everybody to Stade 2 in French and then in English said that we would hear his side of the story.

It apparently took a month of negotiations between lawyers and agents to get the interview done. It took place in Floyd's house where he first shows the yellow jersey and trophy of the Tour de France, with Floyd expressing his joy at fullfilling his dream and talking of it as one of his best moments in life.

They show him pedalling on the trainer, after the surgery.. not breaking any rpm records...

He talks of his terrible day at Toussuire and of the 133 kilometre échappé the next day. He comments on how difficult it is to believe with the previous day having been so bad, but that it does occur that a bad day is followed by an exceptional one.

He was then questioned about his drinking excuse concerning the Testosterone positive. Floyd said that he understands the disblief, but that he was not trying to make any explanations but only trying to relate what had happened the previous day. As to explaining the positive test, he leaves that up to the scientists and lawyers. He is only a bike rider.
When asked about how the Chatenay lab, the best in the world, could possibly make such a mistake.. Floyd's lawyer (?) interjects to prevent him answering. Floyd says he doesn't mind answering, and then says that even the best can make mistakes.

He is asked to look the interviewer in the eyes and answer truthfully whether he has taken testosterone. Floyd gives a blue gaze into the camera and denies that he has taken testosterone. He then answers about the injections to the hip that he had, and confirmed that everyone had been notified.

The subject of Armstrong is brought up. What is his attitude and what is his advice. Floyd says that Armstrong, having been through it all, understands, and advises him to just try to be very clear, and to not expect people to give him too much benefit of the doubt. He then describes how difficult an experience this has all been for him and his family. He broaches on the subject of doping in general, of how it is a problem, of how cycling is badly perceived etc.

Finally he is encouraged by the interviewer to give a message to the French, Floyd asserts that he races clean, he lauds France and says that the country has offered him some of the best memories of his life.

...... This is just a rather poor and hurried synopsis, and I am not quoting Floyd Landis verbatim. As Frenchfry pointed out you can see the interview on the France 2 site, it is in English, with subtitles.

Just an opinion.. Floyd has a hesitant manner of speaking, it works against him as was noted in the "I'll say no" thread. It is just the way he is though.

In the same thread, frenchfry adds:
It wasn't a bad interview, but I wouldn't call it in-depth. The questions asked were predictable and not too tough (given the circumstances) and Floyd was well prepared. I fully believe that Floyd is a super nice guy and appreciate his style and this interview didn't change my opinion. Unfortunately (especially for him) he is not about to be judged on his sense of humour.

Second, email from Marc, who helped with the Ferret translation:
The interview was on a hour-long weekend sports wrap-up show. They knew they had a hot item. Floyd did the intro to the show, but didn't appear until the last segment. The interview itself was 9 minutes long, conducted in English . The interviewer redubbed his questions into French, but Floyd's answers were kept in English and subtitled. But it was quite clear that Floyd's audience was the French public . Floyd wasn't making a technical defense against the charges. Why should he in this venue ? I'd say he was trying to rehabilitate his reputation with the French, and perhaps indirectly with the Tour organizers. Though the interview was in English, Floyd did the intro to the show in French, and the final question of the interview was designed to give him a chance to speak directly to the French audience. I judge from the fairly sympathetic lead-in to the interview and the basically sympathehic follow-up questions for the interviewer from the show's host, maybe Floyd succeeded.

In detail :

Floyd greets the interviewer at his house, shows him his trophy case, and especially his Tour trophy and the Yellow jersey he wore on the last day ("the best day"). Then he is shown working out on a stationary bike. The voice-over says he is no longer in pain after the operation. Floyd calls the Tour the most beautiful race, and says it is every cyclist's dream to win it.

Film of Floyd on the 16th stage. "I didn't eat enough, and I bonked. That happens often enough to riders, but usually not on so difficult a stage." The interviewer then says that Floyd was "transfgured" on the next day. Floyd agrees and says it seems that much more incredible because of how hard the previous day had been. But, he says, “I often happens. You often come back that much harder after a bad day."

Floyd is asked how he explains the positive test. "I can't explain it. I couldn't explain it then. I didn't know what was happening. " The interviewer reminds him that his first explanation was that he had drunk a lot the night after the collapse. Floyd: "I didn't mean that as an explanation. I was just trying to give as detailed a story as I could of what I'd done, hoping someone else might be able to see a connection between what I did and the drug test. I still don't know what happened. Let me be frank: I'm a bicycle racer. I'm relying on experts. "

The interviewer then asked Floyd if he thought he would succeed in arguing error on the lab's part. Someone off-camera says, "Let's move onto the next question. " The interviewer is willing to, but Floyd breaks in and says, "No. I'll answer it. I think I have a good answer. " He says, "I'm not tying to say this was a crummy lab. But anyone can make a mistake, and a mistake was made in this case.''

The interviewer asks him, "Did you take testosterone?" Floyd : "NO. " Interviewer: "There are rumors that you blood- doped. How do you answer them ? " Floyd: "I don't know how to answer them. I have no defense because I don't know where these rumors started. "

Interviewer : "Did you receive any injecctions? " Floyd : "Yes. For my hip. But those were cortico-steroids, not testosterone, and all of the regulations for their administration were followed."

Interviewer : "Have you been getting advice fom Lance Armstrong? " Floyd: "Lance also was under suspicion. He told me to be clear in what I say, and not to expect people to give me the benefit of the doubt. " Floyd was then shown the official Tour film on a laptop, and hè is visibly upset by its ending. "I'm sorry for the Tour that this has happened. If I were a fan--I AM a fan--I would wish better for the Tour. But I did nothing to cause it. "

Asked about his last few months, It has been a difficult several months for me, for my wife, and my daughter, but things are getting better now. "

Interviewer: "Is there anything you would like to say to the French people directly? " Floyd : "I'd like to tell them that I raced the Tour clean. I have nothing but beautiful memories of the Tour, of France, and of the French people I encountered. If I am allowed to, there is nothing I would like to do more than to come back to race the Tour again."

A very good appearance, I thought. The questions in the studio after were about the next stages of the hearings, and made no assumption of his guilt.



Unknown said...

The video link works for me. I just clicked on it and the feed started automatically. Nothing unusual in the interview; I agree with the other reviews.

Anonymous said...

Org here


Sorry I'm not current with french tv, what would be an american equilvalent of the stade 2 interview? Espn, 60 minutes, the today show, da ali g?

Anonymous said...

Stade 2 is an hour to an hour and a half tv show that highlights the sports events of the week with interviews, recaps and commentary.

Personally, I found Landis to be far from convincing. If the only excuse he can come up with is that the labs made a mistake, how could he explain that they found exceptional levels of the same drug in his blood in both samples? Ridiculous.

Today, in L'Equipe's website, a new scandal is brewing on Landis. Apparently the lab experienced a serious hack last week. The hack consisted of email purporting to be from the lab detailing critical errors in their testing. The emails were detected to be fraudulent and a criminal report was filed. The hacker has since been traced to someone in Landis's entourage.

Now why isn't the American press jumping on that?

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