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Armstrong whistleblower Landis to set up own cycling team

Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong

The whistleblower at the centre of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal is to make his return to cycling with the launch of his own team.

In 2010 American Floyd Landis, who was himself banned for doping, lifted the lid on former US Postal Service team-mate Armstrong’s long-term use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The Canada-based team will be sponsored by the 42-year-old’s cannabis business.

“I have a conflicted relationship with cycling, but I still like it,” he said.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Landis – who won the 2006 Tour de France before being stripped of his title after failing a drugs test – said his team would be geared towards helping young riders.

“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,” he said.

Armstrong, 47, was stripped of all results since 1 August, 1998 – including his seven Tour de France titles – and banned from the sport for life in 2012 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (Usada) investigation into what it called “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”.

He agreed to pay $ 5m (£3.8m) to settle his legal case with the US government, who alleged he had defrauded the US Postal Service during his years of doping.

Landis – who received a two-year ban for doping in 2007 – told the WSJ he had received about $ 750,000 (£576,150) as part of the Armstrong settlement for his co-operation, money he will use to set up his cycling team.

“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,” he said.

“Maybe it sounds odd, but it’s kind of some closure for me.”

Landis set up his Colorado-based cannabis company, Floyd’s of Leadville, in 2016. It sells legal hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) products which help to alleviate soreness in athletes.

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BBC Sport – Cycling

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