Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Landis's only way out

I'm generally not a big fan of conspiracy theories. At best they are dubious, at worst pathetic. I'm also inclined to believe that world-class athletes, even the "good guys," are capable of cheating when they believe everyone else around them is cheating.

Obviously I am highly skeptical of Tour de France winner-for-now
Floyd Landis's scattershot doping denials, and turned off by his claims there is an "agenda" against him.

Yet, it still confuses me why he only tested positive for testosterone once, and exactly what advantage he would have gained by shooting testosterone the day before his epic Tour comeback since, apparently, testosterone doesn't work that quickly.

Landis's terrible excuses could be a result of someone who is truly baffled by what is going on. Especially when contrasted with sprinter Justin Gatlin's calculated insistence that a bitter massage therapist set him up by
rubbing testosterone cream on him. (Not only is this highly unlikely, but it paints a disturbing mental image.)

What I would like to hear from Landis are the words
"lie detector test."

I know polygraphs are only about 80 percent accurate and have no legal relevance. But, as a general rule, when a person is accused of something he knows he didn't do he starts screaming for the lie detector right off the bat. That's the first thing the guys in the Duke lacrosse scandal did, and that's why I knew from the beginning there was something fishy going on in Durham.

Unless Landis goes on TV and demands a public polygraph test I'm going to assume he's a cheat. Once he does I'll be on his side -- until he inevitably fails that polygraph test.

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