In his email, Floyd Landis admitted doping between 2002 and 2006. For three of those years he rode for a team sponsored by the United States Postal Service, which is an agency of the United States government.



That could be the most significant fact of all, as it is the one that will take the investigation out of the hands of the sports authorities and into the remit of federal investigators in the United States.



There has been a lot of speculation that this case will hit the buffers because of a lack of proof and a tightening of cycling’s rule of omerta which makes it almost impossible for individuals to tell the authorities what they know for fear of being abandoned to their fate.



However, once federal investigators start asking questions, the tongues of anyone in a position to corroborate Landis’s claims or make similar ones, will inevitably loosen. The consequences of lying to a federal investigator are severe.



A person close to Landis told Cycling Weekly on Thursday that Landis has already been co-operating with federal investigators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency and had conducted at least one interview, with more planned. The source claimed that Jeff Novitzky, the FDA agent who investigated the BALCO laboratory, uncovering doping in American sports and resulting in a prison term for Marion Jones, was on the case. The Wall Street Journal has also reported that Novitzky is investigating, although the FDA declined to confirm or deny.



CW has been in contact with the United States Postal Service. As a Government agency, it is reasonable to assume that it will be interested in finding out what happened to its money once it was paid to Tailwind Sports, the company that owned and ran the team.



When the United States Postal Service terminated its nine-year sponsorship of the team at the end of 2004, it was reported the agency’s commitment had risen to around $8m a year. Certainly over the course of the sponsorship, tens of millions of dollars were paid to sponsor the team.



In an interview with espn.com, Floyd Landis, said the first time he doped was in June 2002, his first year with the US Postal Service team. He claims he paid $10,000 that year for the services of Dr Michele Ferrari, who helped Landis extract and transfuse his blood. He says the sports management at the team knew about the doping and were involved in it.



Asked whether the United States Postal Service had any comment to make regarding Floyd Landis’s allegations of doping within the team between 2002 and 2004, Joanne Veto, a spokesperson at USPS said: “The Postal Service has no comment on the allegations.”



When asked to confirm how the USPS is funded, Ms Veto said: “The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses, and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.”



CW followed up to ask whether the USPS, as a government agency, will be launching any investigation of its own into the team and the admission by Landis that he doped for the three years he was on team. We await a response.

Although it was no longer directly funded by tax payers’ money by the time it sponsored the cycling team (funding directly from the tax payer ceased in the 1980s), the United States Postal Service is nevertheless a government agency. The majority of the members of its board are appointed by the President. It is a public service and if it is not already, surely must be poised to investigate in light of Landis’s confession that he doped while wearing a jersey bearing the agency’s name and logo.

  • Chris K

    Everybody who has a brain and is not blinded by Pharmstrong’s marketing machine to capitalise on the cancer misery knows that finally Floyd is telling the truth. Finally. Respect, congrats Floyd for the courage. But spend tax money to investigate? There’s more disturbing corruption in more important areas of life than cycling. But maybe somewhere a clean up of today’s egoisting society of cheating has to start for a turn for the better with humanity? Who know. Btw, anybody who never told a lie, throw a stone at Floyd. Floyd, again, respect. Finally a hero. Stay with the truth for the rest of your life!

  • Ken Evans

    Armstrong has been a big hero in America,
    (remember all those damn yellow wrist bands).

    I doubt that Obama et al, want to get involved,
    America has other huge problems at the moment, like Wall $treet.

  • JB

    I for one would love to see an FDA investigation into this. It’s true that a damning verdict into the action of Bruyneel, Armstrong et al would be incredibly damaging to the sport. But maybe a cathartic event such as this is whats required for a seed change in the sport.

  • Darrell Anthony

    For those of you who have never heard of baseball player Jose Canseco. He was a stand out player that later wrote a book detailing drug use in the sport. When his allegations aired by the media everyone (and I do mean every) said he lacked creditability due to the fact he admitted using Steroids (HGH). Within a few years the truth started coming out that low and behold he told the truth. It is a known fact here in America the Major League Baseball and owners knew of but looked the other way. Baseballs were flying out of ballparks at an amazing rate, therefore fans spent more money going to the games. Additionally, spending more on baseball merchandise so everyone refused to open pandora’s box. In the end it that so much attention to detail in Jose’s book was too much to overlook. There were Senate hearings which began to reveal the true depth of drugs in baseball. The Casualty list includes the who’s who of American Baseball.

    We should therefore hold out on our judgements until there is a thorough investigation. When prison sentences are hanging over people heads the truth will come. Riders will then and only then try to make a deal to avoid to going to jail. So, do you think riders past and present will open up. Especially, those currently riding on Team Radio-shack or other teams. Protecting themselves and Lance (the sports mealticket) they believe is the only way the sport remains viable.

    The world media should stop calling Landis a liar or he lacks creditability. We Americans have seen this plot play out before in every baseball town. Do research and you will find that I am telling the truth.

    When anyone says “that I have never tested positive for drugs.” Expect the use of drug use to be true.

  • phineas

    The USPS didn’t employ Landis or Armstrong, so it isn’t as if they were postal employees using drugs on the clock. The relationship was similar to any private company that sponsors an athletic team. Any illegal activities by a player for, say, the New York Red Bulls soccer team is going to be investigated by the appropriate authorities, not the people who make Red Bull. The only conceivable way I could see involvement by the USPS would be if something that was done constituted fraud. And if I recall correctly, the USPS contract was with the team’s management company, not the individual riders. So the fraud would need to be on the part of the company, not Landis or Armstrong.

    I’m sure there was a clause in the contract that would have allowed the USPS to bail out if there was a scandal, but that’s moot now, since the contract ended years ago, and the USPS has always claimed that it got what it paid for from it. The contract was controversial enough when it was in effect- the USPS certainly doesn’t want to remind people that it paid a lot of money to sponsor a cycling team that mainly competed overseas.

  • james c

    I agree with the first sentence of Peter’s comment…..it really seems like the writer’s position is actively hoping for such an investigation. It seem the bias of the article is: we know doping happened, and, wow, wouldn’t it be great if the muscle of a federal investigation got to the bottom of this (bc the UCI is clearly in the pocket of LA, etc…). Hmm. I’m not a huge fan of Lance, but as a fan of cycling and a US citizen, I personally don’t want my taxes to pay for such an investigation. Let’s be clear, this will be a media circus and will cost millions…and unless it turns out that all sorts of people, LA foremost among them, are pronounced guilty and prosecuted, all the people who seem to have such a large stake in him being “caught” will no doubt scream that the investigation was rigged, is a coverup, etc…… Would the writer of this article and commenters like Simon above really be happy about a 3-5 year investigation that led to…….no guilty verdict for LA? Everyone is so damn certain that “the whole deck of cards will come crashing down” that they’re cheering this on. What if it doesn’t? What if Novitzky says, hey, I looked and there’s really no conclusive evidence of wrong doing….? The circus will just go on. Again…..I’d rather get on with my life as a fan and enjoy the races. I’m simply tired of this obsession with doping.

  • blair

    I don’t know if anyone else will get punsihed for doping, but Floyd should do time for defrauding tens of thousands of fans by lying to us about his innocence and asking for and getting our money to defend it.

  • Rick

    Doping has been a part of competitive cycling ever since it began, there has been numerous occasions of riders testing positive or not and then admitting afterwords they did in fact doped. The UCI knows about these practices, but they live off professional cycling just like the riders and its coaches, they simply have to do “testing”, to “keep” the “integrity” of the sport to at a certain level, but it all comes down to monetary reasons, there is simply too much money at stake to loose, but let’s not kid ourselves doping is also part of other professional sports events as well and as long as there are huge amounts of money and egos to fulfill, it will never go away.

  • Peter Balmer

    This article seems to be actively hoping for an investigation by either US Postal or the FDA. Whilst I am no fan of Armstrong ( I wish he would finally disappear from cycling), I believe that if everything Landis is saying is proved true then it has the potential to bring down the whole of professional cycling with a destruction of the grand tours etc. The consequences of this for current riders and fans etc are too high a price to pay.

  • Ted

    Landis named everyone involved in cycling. He has no credibility and most of all no proof. Show me a shred of evidence.

    And further more Landis I want the $25 I donated to your defense fund back. You lieing, cheating snake in the grass.

  • Simon

    Well, if the UCI don’t want to investigate, perhaps the US Government will do so on our behalf. And if the whole deck or cards comes crashing down, then so be it.