July 27, 2006
As with any major athlete, the news of Floyd Landis's possible doping has taken the cycling world by surprise.
"We were all just shocked. We couldn't believe it. We had no idea," said local cyclist Craig Griffin.
Landis tested positive for high levels of testosterone during the 17th stage of the race. Local athletes say they were rooting for him, especially since he competed with a degenerative hip condition.
One fan described the news as a Cinderella story gone bad.
"If it turns out that it's through cheating, then that eliminates that and it's really disappointing. Because it was such a spectacular achievement for him to do the big ride that he did and win the race in just that heroic kind of way," said Griffin.
Over the years, the international cycling union has cracked down on doping in the sport. Landis has been suspended by his team, and if his second drug test comes up positive, then he could be fired.
Still, fans say they're hopeful the American will remain champion. "I'm hoping that they'll be weeding out the bad eggs here and get a good, clean tour coming up," explained Griffin.
Landis himself has not commented but his mother in Pennsylvania said she did speak with him today and he told her there is no way this could be true.