Somewhere in the United States, wild-man Floyd Landis is laughing his ass off.
Landis is on the floor, doubled over in pain from laughing so hard. In fact, he hasn’t hooted it up this much since the day all of Lance Armstrong’s sponsors dropped him after the USADA bomb exploded.
The disgraced Texan lost something like $30 million in income that day and Landis was deeply amused.
Now, Floyd is howling because he just read Jonathan Tiernan-Locke’s excuse for anomalies in his biological passport.
The terminated rider for Sky insisted in front of several judges with actual legal credentials that his crazy passport values were caused by a drinking binge, specifically the 33 units of alcohol he and his girlfriend chugged down one evening to celebrate his selection for the World Championships.
Now if you recall it was Landis who explained that his doping positive on stage 17 of the 2006 Tour de France was alcohol-related. Landis would win that Tour only to have it stripped and handed to another doper, Oscar Pereiro. At the time, the mad Mennonite claimed his bad test was caused by drinking a beer and a Jack Daniels whiskey or two the night before.
We all know how that story turned out.
Not surprisingly, the judges didn’t go for Tiernan-Locke’s drinking binge explanation. UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) confirmed a two-year suspension with the following statement: “The Panel found that the explanation provided by the rider… did not sufficiently explain the abnormal values obtained from the sample.”
We have no idea what will happen to Tiernan-Locke’s career in two years time but it sure doesn’t look good. Not only is he a convicted doper but now he’s shown everyone he might have a drinking problem, too. All that’s missing is an arrest for car theft or kidnapping and he’d have the trifecta.
That extra bad news is that there really aren’t as many team options for those busted for doping. A while back, there were still dirty teams that would welcome back a big talent after their suspension was over. A team like Rock Racing in the States or maybe some dodgey Spanish team. But Tiernan-Locke doesn’t have major wins that would justify a second chance and in the new, cleaner world of pro cycling, who wants the bad publicity? We don’t expect to ever see Tiernan-Locke on a race bike again.
The Secret Pro over at CyclingTips had this to say about JTL: “When he popped back into the scene I just took one look at the way he was riding and I knew 100% that he was loaded up to the eyeballs. He had basically been off the bike for five years and had a reputation for bouncing off the walls of the nightclubs during that time.
Then he comes back on a sh*thouse team and is riding off the front against the best riders in the world, and putting minutes into them. Had he ever done that before? I didn’t need to look at any bio passport when he came back — I just knew because of the way he was annihilating everyone else in the races that he was up to his eyeballs on EPO.”
Something tells us that Tiernan-Locke will be bouncing off the walls of the nightclub again. Floyd Landis became so depressed after losing his Tour title that friends worried about him committing suicide. Right now we’d be worried about the same thing happening with Tiernan-Locke.