LeMond accuses Landis camp of harassment
LeMond accuses Landis camp of harassmentBy EDDIE PELLSAP National WriterMALIBU, Calif. (AP) – Floyd Landis’ sleepy, scientific arbitration hearing morphed into a pulp-fiction blockbuster Thursday, replete with revelations of sexual abuse, allegations of threatening phone calls and even a Donald Trump-style firing.It came courtesy of Landis’ fellow American Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, who disclosed he had been sexually abused as a child and received a call Wednesday from Landis’ manager who threatened to reveal the secret if LeMond showed up to testify.Shortly after LeMond dropped those bombshells, the manager, Will Geoghegan, walked up to LeMond, apologized and admitted he made the call, LeMond said. Which led to “You’re fired” – the message Landis attorney Maurice Suh gave to Geoghegan while they were still standing in the hearing room.”It was a real threat, it was real creepy, and I think it shows the extent of who it is,” LeMond said before leaving the Pepperdine law school after his spellbinding day. “I think there’s another side of Floyd that the public hasn’t seen.”Landis, ditching his yellow tie for a black one he wore to symbolize his feelings of animosity toward LeMond, sat stoically as he watched the three-time champion wreck his day. Landis is not allowed to comment during the hearing.Making it worse for last year’s Tour de France champion was that the cross-examination of LeMond, designed to expose his motives and impeach his credibility, was called off because LeMond refused to answer questions about Lance Armstrong.”I just have to say, again, this is completely unfair,” Landis attorney Howard Jacobs said.He wanted to ask LeMond about suggestions he has made in the past that Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, might have doped.But LeMond didn’t think that was the main point.”I think they didn’t want me coming here today,” LeMond said. “I don’t know why. If you didn’t do anything wrong, why would you mind me coming here today?”Before LeMond received the threatening call from Geoghegan, his testimony was supposed to be about conversations he had with Landis shortly after news of his positive “A” urine sample had been leaked to the media.LeMond said he urged Landis to come clean if, in fact, his backup “B” sample also came back tainted.He said he encouraged Landis to help his sport and “more importantly, help himself.””At this point, he said, ‘I don’t see anything that … what good would it do? If I did, it would destroy a lot of my friends and hurt a lot of people,”‘ LeMond testified.He said he used the story of his being sexually abused when he was 6 as an example of how it’s good to get things out in the open.”It nearly destroyed me by keeping the secret,” LeMond said.He said he told Landis that very few people knew that about him, then revealed that someone in the Landis camp tried to use that information to intimidate him.LeMond described receiving a call Wednesday evening from someone who claimed to be his uncle. He said he later traced the call to Geoghegan’s cell phone.”He said, ‘I’ll be there tomorrow and we can talk about how we used to’ perform a sexual act, LeMond said of the phone call. “I thought this was intimidation to keep me from coming here.”He said he was so distraught by the call, he filed a police report, which was presented as evidence by attorneys. Malibu sheriff’s officials, however, declined to release the report or details about it, saying the case was under investigation.A message left on Geoghegan’s cell phone by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.Before lunch – and LeMond – things were going well for the Landis team during the cross-examination of Claire Frelat, a technician at the French lab who tested Landis’ positive “B” sample from last year’s Stage 17 for synthetic testosterone.Frelat acknowledged she knew she was working on Landis’ positive doping test. She said she knew because of media reports she had read of his positive “A” sample test.The cross-examination was in line with the questions asked Wednesday of Frelat’s workmate, Cynthia Mongongu, who tested Landis’ positive “A” sample from Stage 17. Both women also participated in testing of the negative backup “B” samples that were done last month at the request of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Four of those seven negative tests showed abnormal testosterone profiles.The long, difficult testimony of the French-speaking witnesses was done through a translator. It was designed to show a pattern of incompetence at the French lab where the tests were done.After LeMond, USADA called Christiane Ayotte, director of the World Anti-Doping Agency accredited lab in Montreal, to discuss testing standards in the process used on Landis’ tests.When her testimony began, however, it may as well have been a closed hearing. More than a dozen reporters and photographers were outside the hearing room with LeMond.He insisted he appeared only to help cycling, a sport he thinks has been ruined by an unabated culture of doping.His appearance at Pepperdine, however, made the sport look every bit the unseemly circus he’s been trying to fix all these years. Still, he had no remorse.”What I felt was right was to come here and tell the truth,” he said as he walked to his car. “People say it’s the message that hurts this sport, but it’s not that. It’s cheating that hurts this sport, and that’s all I have to say.”
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.