Landis to start own team with money from Armstrong case

Cycling (File)
Cycling (File)

Los Angeles - Cycling whistleblower Floyd Landis is to use money awarded to him as part of Lance Armstrong's multi-million-dollar settlement to set up his own North America-based cycling team, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Landis lifted the lid on Armstrong's use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career, ultimately leading to the downfall of the seven-time Tour de France champion in the biggest drugs scandal in cycling history.

Landis told the Journal he was left with around $750,000 after Armstrong agreed to pay $5 million to settle his legal case with the US government, which alleged he had defrauded the US Postal Service by pocketing millions of dollars in sponsorship while doping.

Landis said he now planned to use his share of the proceeds of the settlement to start a team geared towards helping young riders.

The 42-year-old, who won the Tour de France in 2006 and was later stripped of the title for doping, said starting the team would help give him "closure."

"I have a conflicted relationship with cycling, as everybody knows, but I still like it," the self-confessed dope cheat told the daily.

"And I still remember what it was like to be a kid, and race on a domestic team. It was some of the best years of my life.

"I'm contrite about what happened, but you can never go back and change the decisions you made. At the very least, people can see that I'm ready to move on.

"Maybe it sounds odd, but it's kind of some closure for me."

Landis meanwhile emphasised that his decision to start a team was unrelated to his bitter relationship with Armstrong.

"Obviously, (Lance) is not a fan of mine," Landis said.

"(It) doesn't have anything to do with me trying to spite him, or anything like that. It's just for my own sake."

The report added that Landis's team would compete in lower level professional cycling events, with the goal of preparing young talent to compete at the highest level of the sport.

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