Floyd Landis returned to racing in Feburary 2009 after serving a two-year suspension for doping after test results found him positive after winning the 2006 Tour de France, but the American doesn’t believe he will ever ride the Tour de France again.
“I can’t foresee what the politics in cycling will possibly lead to, but the organisations in control are not working well together,” the 34-year-old Landis said in an interview with The New Zealand Herald. “There are people caught in the crossfire and I happen to be one of them, so I don’t know if the opportunity will come up again. I would like to. But it’s very sensitive.
“I don’t think it’s a possibility next year, or ever, for that matter.”
The difficulty, he knows, would be finding a team willing to take the risk of hiring him.
“The (International Cycling Union) and Tour de France don’t get on well at the moment and they like to use whatever they can, whatever pawns are in the middle, to try to make a point,” he said. “Most teams are afraid of giving them any reason to make them the pawn.”
Landis is in New Zealand to ride the Southland Tour (November 2-7), with local team Cyclingnzshop.com-Bio Sport. This season he rode for Team OUCH Presented by Maxxis. It has been rumoured that he would join Rock Racing for 2010.
Landis tested positive for testosterone during the Tour de France 2006. After a vigourous publicity campaign and highly-publicised hearing, he was suspended for two years.
Looking back, he said that 2006 “went from the best year to the worst year.” What helped him get through the bad times, Landis said, was the knowledge that he would one day race again.
“There were times when I wasn’t particularly motivated to do so,” he said. “There were other times when I enjoyed riding my bike again. At no time did I feel I needed to come back for some kind of redemption. My motivation in bike racing is never of that nature anyway. I like to compete and set goals. That’s still the same.”
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