Disgraced former Tour de France winner Floyd Landis has announced he is retiring from cycling with immediate effect, ESPN reported on Tuesday. The 35-year-old American has been unable to find a team since being stripped of the 2006 Tour de France crown after a positive test for testosterone. Despite denying doping for four years he finally confessed last year.
In making his confession, he alleged that former US Postal team-mate Lance Armstrong was involved in systematic doping during his spectacular Tour de France career. Those claims have since prompted a federal investigation into the superstar American.
“I’ve spent five years trying to get back to a place that I can never really go back to, and it’s causing more stress than is worth it,” Landis told ESPN. “There must be more to life than this.
“I’ve been riding my bike a lot, trying to figure out life, which is the same reason I did it to start with, so I’ve come full circle. I’ll always ride my bike. But I’ll never start on a line on a road and try to get to another line on a road faster than another guy. That’s over.”
Landis said he has considered calling it quits many times in recent months, “but I just couldn’t follow through with it. I don’t want it to come across that I’m quitting because I’m bitter,” Landis said. But he added that he had become disillusioned with what he termed systemic corruption and hypocrisy in cycling and was pessimistic that the doping culture could ever change.
“I’m relatively sure this sport cannot be fixed, but that’s not my job, that’s not my fight,” he said. Landis started his career in 1999 with the Mercury team before joining US Postal in 2001 and Phonak in 2005.