West Earl Township, Lancaster County—Cycling star and Lancaster County native, Floyd Landis comes clean, admitting to using performance enhancing drugs when he won the Tour de France. Landis telling ESPN.com, he is tired of living a lie.
Floyd Landis grew up in a house near the small town of Farmersville in West Earl Township, Lancaster County. He would sneak out of his parents home at all hours of the night to ride his bike because his parents were devout Mennonites and believed he was wasting his time.
But then, he hit the big time, winning the Tour de France. What ensued from there has been years of turmoil and allegations, that ended yesterday with Landis admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.
The Ephrata-area native won the Tour in 2006, making one of the most monumental come backs in the sport's history. Shortly after, he was disqualified for having irregular testosterone levels. Landis fought the ruling tooth and nail for years, fighting several court battles, claiming his innocence.
Yesterday, Landis told ESPN.com, he was tired of being deceitful.
"I want to clear my conscience. I don't want to be apart of the problem any more," he said in the article.
His most difficult phone call to make, he says, was telling his mom in Lancaster County.
Fox43 caught up with Landis' parents after the U.S. Doping Agency ruled against him in 2007. At the time, they stood by there boy but weren't surprised about the ruling.
"I feel sorry for him, but in a sense, I feel more sorry for the two arbitrators that voted against him because everything was there for them to see. Either they weren't listening of they just don't want to rule the right way," said Paul Landis, during a September 2007 interview.
In the ESPN.com article, Landis says he used performance enhancers starting in 2002 and that many of his teammates and fellow riders also used the drugs.
He says the timing of his announcement is key. The statute of limitations for doping offenses is eight years under many of the doping agencies and he says, he wanted to get this information off of his chest before his chance ran out.
Currently, Landis rides professionally for the Bahati Foundation Cycling Team.
His neighbors in the small town of Farmersville are reacting to the news. "I'm happy he has come clean," says Susan Groff. "He will be a free-er man now, we can't lie. It will always come back to us. That's what the Bible tells us. "
Kurt Luckenbill was on mile 9.1 of a bike ride through the town. "I was really cheering for him in the Tour. It was like - here's a local guy doing good! So it's a letdown."