Posted: Tuesday May 25, 2010 2:24PM ; Updated: Tuesday May 25, 2010 2:35PM
Lance Armstrong vigorously denied allegations by disgraced ex-teammateFloyd Landis that they doped together before past Tours de France. But unlikeearlier accusations against Armstrong, these have drawn the interest of atenacious federal investigator
By Austin Murphy and Selena Roberts
This story appears in the May 31, 2010, issue of Sports Illustrated.
The most unwelcome guest in the five-year history of the Amgen Tour of California sat in ahospitality tent near the finish line last Saturday, his back to the bike race. As he shook handsand made small talk with fellow VIPs, Floyd Landis was asked if he felt liberated by his recentconfession. "I do," he said. "I mean, I'm getting beat up pretty bad right now, but in the long runthis will be a good thing."The winner of the 2006 Tour of California showed zero interest in stage 7 of the 2010 edition, a21-mile time trial through downtown Los Angeles. As skin-suited, aero-helmeted riders wentspeeding past, Landis seldom bestirred himself to take a look, ignoring the comings and goingsof his former U.S. Postal Service teammates George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer and DaveZabriskie, all of whom Landis had recently exposed or defamed, depending on whom you believe.In a series of e-mails to cycling officials and sponsors, Landis accused those three and 14 others -- most notably seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong -- of doping or complicity indoping. Landis offered no documentation, though he says he kept journals that back up hisclaims. All of the accused parties either declined to address or denied outright Landis'sallegations, which are sensational. A brief sampler:• In an April 30 e-mail to USA Cycling CEO Steve Johnson, Landis claimed that in early 2003he was assigned by Armstrong to babysit bags of blood from Armstrong, Landis and Hincapiefor future transfusion. According to the e-mail, while Armstrong was away at a training camp,Landis moved into the Texan's apartment in Girona, Spain. "I was asked to... check the bloodtemperature every day," Landis wrote, "to stay in his place and make sure the electricity didn'tturn off or something go wrong with the refrigerator [sic]."