Monday, May 14, 2007

Floyd's day in court approaches - salvation, or damnation?


He's been waiting for this almost as much as a tough mountain stage. This week, the American cyclist Floyd Landis faces his toughest battle yet - not just to save a race, but to save his career.

When Floyd Landis walks into the Darling Trial Courtroom at Pepperdine University’s School of Law in Malibu (whose Dean is none other than Kenneth W. Starr), the cyclist enters into a process that could lead to salvation or damnation.

Or more likely, it will lead to more legal costs and hearings. But whatever the outcome, the cycling world hopes this sad, damaging case will be resolved once and for all.

Ever since he allegedly tested positive for synthetic testosterone during his 2006 Tour de France victory, the cyclist has been scathing of the process and the parties involved in that anti-doping process. While he's not attacked the sport of cycling, it's certainly been damaged as he's gone on a PR offensive in an effort to supposedly educate the public, but also garner support for his cause.

The hearings are just the next step in a very public do-or-die battle. Should Landis lose, he will become the first Tour winner to be stripped of his title for doping. The sport of cycling will suffer yet another body-blow to its credibility. Should he win, the anti-doping establishment will fall under suspicion.

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