Greg LeMond believes a federal probe into fellow Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong should not be taken lightly.
“Up until now, he has achieved great things, if you consider he did it fairly, which I don’t believe,” LeMond said in an interview conducted in French with the Journal Du Dimanche newspaper.
“For him, it’s the beginning of the end.” Seven-time champion Armstrong is racing his final Tour campaign amid damaging accusations by former teammate Floyd Landis that their former team, US Postal, was involved in systematic doping practices.
A federal investigation into Landis’s claims has been launched and is being led by Jeff Novitzky, the same federal agent whose probe into the BALCO doping scandal brought about the downfall of athletics star Marion Jones.
Grand jury subpoenas were issued to potential witnesses in the probe this week in a move that demonstrates how seriously the authorities are taking allegations made by Landis.
LeMond, along with several of Armstrong’s former teammates, is one of several witnesses who has been issued a subpoena. Although he has “yet to decide” on whether he will go, his testimony could be valuable. While Armstrong continues to question the credibility of Landis, LeMond has no doubts. He claimed that friends of Landis were even being threatened by Armstrong.
“Listen, Landis spoke out because Armstrong was going after him. He made threats against his (Landis’s) friends,” added LeMond.
Riblon wins as Schleck, Contador play Pyrenean poker
Frenchman Christophe Riblon claimed a deserved maiden Tour de France victory on the race’s 14th stage here Sunday as an anticipated yellow jersey battle failed to materialise.
Race leader Andy Schleck of Saxo Bank retained the race lead with his 31-sec lead on main rival Alberto Contador of Spain intact after the pair stubbornly played poker games with each other on the race’s two difficult climbs.
Instead, podium hopefuls Samuel Sanchez of Spain and Russian Denis Menchov were given unexpected freedom in the final third of the 7.8km climb to the summit finish here to close their respective deficits.