Welcome back, Floyd!
Cycling News has reported rumors that Floyd Landis will make his return to cycling on the Health Net-Maxxis team. Finally! He’s back!
Whether he doped or not is almost irrelevant now. The fact is that his suspension is over. Like a man freed from prison, he has every right to have a chance to rebuild his life and career. Even thugs, murders, and rapists have this opportunity given to them after serving something like a 25 year prison sentence. David Millar came back from a suspension and so did Tyler Hamilton. Think back further to Richard Virenque and even Marco Pantani. Now there’s a huge difference between all of their behavior – everything from flat out denial to full confessions – and that goes a long way in setting our perceptions.
I have to admit that I am biased towards Landis. He seems like a decent guy. Who can forget his memorable stage 17 victory? Who can forget that fist pumping as he crossed the finish line? Just look at that “Praying Landis” position.
Personally, I don’t think he doped and I think he got caught up in the system. We put so much hope and trust in a science that is too new. Pridefully, our humanist tendancies push us to claim that we know so much about the human body but in reality we know so little. If we really did know as much we claim we do then we would have more cures for terrible diseases things like cancer and AIDS. Couple that with the poor handling of the test samples and you have a bad pot of soup. His story is well known and I don’t intend to go over it here.
All I want to do is encourage someone making a comeback. Granted, he may never race the TdF again. The ToC and TdG is probably all he can hope for, and maybe a US champion title – and maybe that is good enough. He can be a good force for the US cycling scene as long as he goes on a huge winning spree. He’s only 32 which gives him at least another five or six years of racing.
Only Landis, God, and few other people in the world really know whether Landis doped. All we can do is guess which isn’t very productive. However, we can all welcome back a talented rider back into the fold. The last thing we need is another suicide case of a professional cyclist.
Welcome back, Floyd. Now go kick someone in the ass. Hard.