Champion cyclist or disgraced athlete? Floyd Landis fielded both questions today at Bryant Park’s Reading Room. Landis is in town to pimp his new book-slash-defense, Positively False: The Real Story of How I Won the Tour de France.
“I have nothing to hide,” Landis states in the opening line of the book. “The cycling and its anti-doping program are run by people so incompetent they couldn’t even run a Ralphs grocery store.”
While his prose sounds bitter, Landis spoke eloquently to the crowd of businessmen and athletes.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the French,” Landis said when asked if he thought the French had made him the target of a witch hunt. Prior to the 2006 Tour, Landis was best known as one of the few cyclists who could “keep up with Lance [Armstrong] and not come home in a coffin.”
The 320-page memoir, co-written with Loren Mooney, venomously denies any wrongdoing.
When asked if he would sign a drug petition that would ban any positive-testing riders from competing for a year and withhold a year’s salary, Landis shook his head. “I would not sign it and I would not recommend anyone else sign it either,” he said. “The [doping agencies] are not held to the same standards as the athletes.”