LeMond revelations at Landis hearing

Last updated at 17:58 18 May 2007

If there was any doubt cycling could not be further shamed by Floyd Landis's

doping case it was wiped away when Greg LeMond claimed he had been threatened

with revelations of sexual abuse by a representative of the 2006 Tour de France


Landis sacked his business manager Will Geoghegan in the wake of LeMond's

testimony at the United States Anti-Doping Agency hearing into his positive

drugs test at last year's Tour.

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But for a man who has sought to prove his innocence in the court of public

opinion, as well as for a sport in dire need of a good news story, this was a

grievous blow.

LeMond - a victim of sexual abuse as a child - declared himself "shaken,

absolutely shaken and shocked" by an anonymous phone call he received on the

night before he was due to testify for USADA against Landis.

According to the 45-year-old, winner of the 1989 and 1990 Tours, the caller had

said: "'Hi Greg, this is your uncle. This is your uncle Ron and I'm going to be

there tomorrow."'

LeMond added: "I got the picture right away that there are very few people who

know about that. I figured this was intimidation."

The mobile phone number of the mystery caller turned out to belong to

Geoghegan, a long-time friend of Landis. They had raced on the same mountain

bike team.

LeMond had been called to testify in Malibu, California, on another phone call

- one between him and Landis. The two had talked in August after LeMond had

publicly criticised Landis when news of his positive test had broken.

Landis, LeMond said, had then implied he had doped.

LeMond had urged Landis to publicly admit to using performance-enhancing


Landis, according to LeMond, had asked: "'What good would it do? It would

destroy a lot of my friends and hurt a lot of people."'

LeMond then confessed he had been sexually abused as a child and warned Landis

about the effects of keeping secrets, saying: "This will come back to haunt you

when you are 40 or 50... this will destroy you."

Immediately following LeMond's testimony - which may not even be admissible as

evidence - Maurice Suh, lead lawyer for Landis, said Geoghegan had been sacked.

Having worn a tie the same yellow as the one in which he had won the Tour

throughout the hearing, Landis had dressed in black for LeMond's testimony.

Landis had given an illustration of the bitter feeling between the two men in a

post on an online forum last November when he referred to his August

conversation with LeMond.

Landis wrote: "Unfortunately, the facts that he divulged to me in the hour

which he spoke and gave no opportunity for me to do the same, would damage his

character severely and I would rather not do what has been done to me.

"However, if he ever opens his mouth again and the word Floyd comes out, I

will tell you all some things that you will wish you didn't know."

The row was by far the most controversial incident in the hearing which started

on Tuesday and is expected to go on until May 23.

USADA are attempting to prove that the positive test for testosterone given by

Landis following his extraordinary breakaway on stage 17 of the tour should

stand and the Pennsylvanian should be stripped of his title and banned for two


Landis and his lawyers have tried to discredit the doping process by alleging a

series of errors by the French laboratory charged with testing samples from the


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