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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK
Cycling fans on the Landis affair
Floyd Landis
Cycling fans have been discussing Tour de France winner Floyd Landis' failed drugs test on the Five Live message board.

Landis' Phonak team revealed on Thursday that the cyclist had tested positive for excess levels of testosterone after winning Stage 17 of this year's race.

The American has denied cheating and says while he "can't be hopeful" about a B test he hopes to prove he has naturally high levels of testosterone.

With cycling's image already tarnished, do you feel like giving up on the sport? Or are you still optimistic that cycling is predominantly clean?

And, perhaps most importantly, where should the sport go from here?


Dick Pound's listed half a dozen sports that he believes have a significant doping problem. It's fair to say it isn't isolated to cycling. Most die-hard fans I suspect couldn't give a flying whatsit for what the average Joe on the street thinks. Especially in this country where cycling is such a minority sport. Cycling will survive - maybe only the die-hards will be left, but that doesn't bother me.

To all the people branding our sport as embarrassing, disgraceful etc, I'd like to see you ride the Tour de France, using drugs or no drugs. To be honest, I'm not ashamed of the drug uses or the sport as a whole, as out of every other sport in the world, cycling is perhaps, alongside marathon running, the only sport in which drug taking can be forgiven. So what ever you cynics say, I for one won't be deserting the sport of cycling.
Steve P

Why would drug taking make anyone desert cycling? We British are far too puritanical when it comes to sport, we're obsessed with Corinthian ideals and all that public school rubbish. Cyclists take drugs, horse races are fixed, boxing judges are corrupt, football is all of the above. That's an integral part of those sports and part of the drama.

I'll always follow cycling, no matter what. In an ideal world everyone competing would be drug-free. However in any sport there will always be drug cheats, and the more outlandish the endurance levels needed to compete the higher the incidence of cheating will be. Maybe one day science will have advanced enough to be 100% accurate in uncovering doping, which is what every cycling fan would like to see. Until then the spectacle of a peloton covering thousands of miles and racing over mountains will still captivate the die-hard fan whether the race is clean or not.

I spent a lot of money to go to Paris to see the new clean champion win my favourite sporting event. I won't pretend I was incredibly upset and angry last night, and felt like I'd wasted my money. However I won't turn my back, no way. Cycling is the greatest spectacle in sport, and I just have to keep the optimistic view that we are eliminating the cheats. No matter how small or "accidental" their misdemeanour, the rules cannot be broken, especially when they can be easily adhered to.

I'm by no means a die-hard fan. I only really watch the Tour and Olympic/Commonwealth cycling, while paying occasional notice to other races as motorsport is my sport of choice to watch. However I'll still watch the tour every year as it always astounds me just how much better than I could ever be on my bike even the lowliest domestique is. That and the fact that the strategies involved provide an interest different to any other sport mean that I'll always pay attention, even if only for a few weeks a year.

Fans who know whats going on know that doping and drugs are and have been rampant in cycling almost since its inception as a sport - but the question now is limitation of damage. How can a 'sport' keep that name when it appears to be a marketing exercise for which doping product works better? I love riding, love watching the races and will be incredibly dissapointed if Floyd's b sample comes back positive. But I will never stop following cycling and will never stop hoping that a way is found to prevent the doping that is going on at present.

No way will I desert this sport, not a chance. I refuse to hand the powers that wish to make cycling a scapegoat for doping in sport and the dopers themselves, victory. Sure, as a fan I feel let down, upset, angry or even cheated but I love this sport. Believe me, deserting the sport would be the easy option, sometimes though you've got to stick with something you believe in and love, even if it's tough. I'd compare it to marriage, there will be rocky patches and times when all seems lost but as long as you believe there's something to work for then stick it out.


Money should be increasingly spent not only on testing but on understanding how cheats beat current tests, and what can be done to counter that. Testers should be allowed to conduct tests just before stages, at breakfast and up until 10pm the night before a stage. Important people should listen to confessed dope cheats. Cycling has a problem. The media, the UCI and the cyclists are afraid to talk about the culture, we need to encourage more open debate.

Keep testing, keep banning the cheats but use due process to do it. Hamilton - to fully press the charges he had to go through the whole appeal process for accused riders to ensure their bans would stick. This has to be the way forward. The UCI and Pat McQuaid must give an unequivocal message that the crusade will continue.

Afraid to say there is no magic solution. The UCI and WADA just need to invest cash into testing, testing and more testing.

Collective responsibility - team has a doper then the team loses. There was an interesting point made that even if the winner is clean but his domestiques are doping then by default the winner has won because of doping.

Jail time would be good. I think making sporting fraud a criminal offence would be helpful. Also, reforming the testing and punishment process. All tests should be carried out by WADA and all punishments handed out by CAS.

There should be an amnesty for all drug users in sport with immunity from bans if they name where and who is supplying them with treatment and advice. The scientists themselves also would be able to save themselves from prosecution if they revealed all the techniques and research related to doping.

There seems to be no end of revelations about this wonderful sport. Never the possibility of getting over the last crisis. I believe that as sport in general has decided that performance enhancing drugs cannot be used we must punish the drug users to the point that they cannot be involved in the sport anymore. No more 2 year bans, the ban should be for life.

Short of ensuring all riders basically live in dorms together that are regulated Big Brother style throughout each event what more than is already being done can be done?

I do not believe in collective responsibility as such as one bad apple can ruin it for everyone. I do however think responsibility lies with the teams and they (as well as the riders) are the only ones who can prevent it. I know a team has a vested interest, but if massive fines were introduced and a three strikes and your out policy then you would find more teams catching and suspending their riders rather than at best turning a blind eye and at worst implementing systematic doping!

Landis gives positive drugs test
27 Jul 06 |  Cycling

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