A reader's guide to the new Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis books.

The stadium scene.
July 2 2007 5:54 PM

Cycling's Biggest Dopes

A reader's guide to the new Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis books.

(Continued from Page 1)

Mitigating Fact

Positively False,Page 211

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Two days after Landis' best friend committed suicide, a drug-testing agent showed up on his doorstep at 6:50 a.m., demanding a urine sample. Never mind that Landis had already tested positive and was not likely to compete again that season.

From Lance to Landis,Page 75

Years of in-competition drug tests—including one conducted by the same French lab that found Floyd Landis positive—somehow failed to discover Armstrong's testicular cancer, which produces a hormone called beta-HCG that also happens to be a banned (and easily detected) steroid. One could hardly accuse the drug testers of laziness. The same lab decided in 2005 to test some of Armstrong's 1999 urine samples, finding traces of EPO in six of them. (That news, of course, was leaked straight to the press.)

Lance Armstrong, World's Greatest Boss

Positively False,Page 67

It's traditional for a Tour winner to share the wealth with his teammates, but Armstrong was far more generous than most. After his first Tour with the U.S. Postal Service team in 2003, Landis attended a private party with Armstrong, the rest of the team, and their wives. "He sent a bunch of Mercedes around to pick us up, and we went to a special room he had rented," Landis writes. "He had a bunch of envelopes in his hand, and eventually he made his way to me. 'Here's your Lance bonus,' he said. ... Inside was the biggest check we had ever seen." Landis' previous team had folded without paying him, so this extra $90,000 was a godsend.

From Lance to Landis, Page 135

Emma O'Reilly, Armstrong's masseuse and assistant during his first few Tours, happened to mention how much she admired a Rolex worn by the wife of a retired rider. After the Tour, Armstrong summoned O'Reilly to the Ritz Carlton and presented her with a brand new Rolex.

Lance Armstrong, World's Worst Boss

Positively False,Page 87

During his second year with the Postal team, Landis began agitating for a time-trial bike to use in training. He got put in his place, instead. "My complaints got back to Lance. ... For most of the spring, he gave me the cold shoulder. ... Just a few weeks before the Tour … the team was having a meeting and talking about equipment when Lance said, 'Then we got Floyd over here who thinks he's a world champion and deserves a jet.' He was joking. But after months of not getting the bike and him not helping me, the comment pushed me too far. ... I went off about how we were a cycling team trying to win the Tour. 'How can you possibly be accusing me of asking for too much when I'm asking for a single bicycle?' " Apparently it was too much: Landis' contract with Postal was not renewed.

From Lance to Landis,Page 308

Walsh claims that Armstrong would go so far as to sabotage his own teammates. In an instant-message exchange (which one rider has recanted in an affidavit as being merely secondhand gossip), two former Postal riders talk about how Armstrong and team director Johan Bruyneel "dumped Floyd's rest day blood refill down the toilet in front of him in last yrs tour to make him ride bad." The two riders go on to marvel that Landis finished as well as he did "with no extra blood."

Bill Gifford has written for Outside, Wired, Men's Health, and other magazines. He is working on a book about the future of medicine.

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