Disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis has admitted doping for much of his professional road-racing career.
The American won the 2006 Tour de France but was quickly stripped of his title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone.
He had always denied taking drugs and fought a costly and unsuccessful legal battle to clear his name following his positive test, for which he served a two-year ban.
But Landis has now decided to come clean, telling espn.com: “I want to clear my conscience. I don’t want to be part of the problem any more.”
The 34-year-old has sent a series of emails to cycling and anti-doping officials detailing his use of drugs, which he says began in 2002 when he rode for the U.S. Postal Service team and continued when he moved to Phonak in 2005.
Landis continued: “With the benefit of hindsight, and a somewhat different perspective, I made some misjudgements. And, of course, I can sit here and say all day long, ’If I could do it again I’d do something different’, but I just don’t have that choice.
“I don’t feel guilty at all about having doped. I did what I did because that’s what we did and it was a choice I had to make after 10 years or 12 years of hard work to get there, and that was a decision I had to make to make the next step.
“My choices were, do it and see if I can win, or don’t do it and I tell people, ’I just don’t want to do that’, and I decided to do it.”
The American has implicated other cyclists and team officials in his emails, and he revealed his decision to tell all now was partly because the World Anti-Doping Agency’s statute of limitations for doping offences of eight years meant his evidence would shortly become unusable.
He said: “Now we’ve come to the point where the statute of limitations on the things I know is going to run out or start to run out next month. If I don’t say something now, then it’s pointless to ever say it.”
Landis, though, still denies taking testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France.
“There must be some other explanation, whether it was done wrong or I don’t know what,” he said.
“The problem I have with even bothering to argue it is I have used testosterone in the past and I have used it in other Tours, and it’s going to sound kind of foolish to say I didn’t.”