Floyd Landis is by no means inexperienced when it comes to performance enhancing drugs. He lost his 2006 Tour de France title when he was popped for doping and later admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. Last week, Landis did an interview with Let’s Run during which he spoke candidly about doping in sport. Despite a long history of anti-doping measures introduced to sport, Landis still believes there are considerable loopholes that can be taken advantage of.
In the interview, Landis described the current state of drug use and anti-doping efforts. Even in an age where athletes are monitored closely, tested often and doping awareness is a prevalent topic of conversation in athletics, Landis suggests that cheating remains relatively easy to get away with.
He told Let’s Run that it would be very easy to cheat today. “You could do EPO right now in (low) enough quantities that you could raise your hematocrit from 44 to 50 in a two-week period and have zero risk,” he said. Hematocrit is the ratio of volume of red blood cells to volume of blood.
“I know that they can be using EPO and I know that they can be using peptides like growth hormone or there’s all these other insulin growth factors or mitochondrial growth factors. There’s peptides, there’s countless ways you can manipulate peptides that are analogs to growth hormone that’ll have specific effects on you and there’s zero chance of getting caught. Even growth hormone, you’d have to be tested within 20 minutes of using it,” he said.
Landis was also critical of WADA saying, “I wish that the anti-doping agencies would just be honest with how big the problem is.” He believes that anti-doping agencies cover up how big the problem is to preserve their funding.
Despite being skeptical of the cleanliness of sport, Landis is intent on contributing some good with his new team that will focus on rider development. After he left cycling, Landis started Floyd’s of Leadville in 2016 a cannabis business that is focused on CBD products.
Earlier this fall Landis announced that we would be returning to pro cycling but this time as a sponsor for a new UCI Continental team registered in Canada. Just last week the roster for Floyd’s Pro Cycling was announced. The team is being funded through his cannabis business and with the money he won in a whistleblower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong. The team is managed by Gord Fraser and so far three Canadians have been announced for the 2019 roster.