Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tour de France Winner Landis' Drug Test Outlook Not So Positive

Poor Floyd. He's got a bad hip. Had a falling-out with the era's, if not the all-time, best cyclist (Lance Armstrong). Almost blew his chance this year with no real front-runner (all were forced out of the race amidst drug allegations, go figure). Then, got a positive on his "A" drug test after Stage 17, the Stage where he blew away his competition.

The possible explanation, according to Landis, is that he consumed alcohol the night before the stage. He must really be a He-Man if he can drink the night before the ride of his life. Another excuse he and his lawyer offered up: Cortisone shots for his "ailing" hip.

Now, dehydration. Landis has already stated that taking the breakaway on Stage 17 was a great advantage because he didn't have to ride with anyone and he was very close to his team caravan, which, of course, supplied him with water whenever he needed it.

So, dehydration is out as an excuse. I was on Landis' side until I read about the fact that synthetic testosterone had been found in the test. I am no doctor, nor do I play one on TV. But I have no idea how synthetic male hormone gets into a man's body without ingesting it, injecting it, rubbing it on, or some other such method. Simply, man does not create synthetic hormone within himself.

I really hope that the test proves wrong. There is a "B" test coming, results of which should be out Saturday. Hopefully, the "rumor" about the synthetic testosterone is just that -- a rumor. But I am highly suspicious of that. Though deep down I really want to believe Floyd that he took nothing to enhance his performance.

I just don't know how he can explain how synthetic male hormone got into his system. And even if he could, wouldn't that still be unfair and against the tenets of the sport? For example, TODAY, a baseball player can say he didn't know he was taking steroids, but his ignorance is no excuse for the hightened achievement he was able to attain by their use (if any). He may be stupid, and he may have unknowingly cheated, but cheated he did.

Same for Floyd. Let's hope the test was wrong and that there was no synthetic testosterone in his body at the time of the test. That would be wonderful.