And you know what the big dog's response would be? The French got to him! It's a conspiracy. I never tested positive. Most tested athlete in the history of sport. Twitter...
I am not sure how well that would work.
I like Landis. I can only imagine how robbed he must feel to have had the money and the fame right in his grasp only to have everything snatched away at the last moment. To make matters worse, he knows full well that others not only got away with it but were protected in some cases by the powers that be.
I think that Landis botched his defense. He got bad advice. Some people seem to have used him for their own purposes of attacking the anti-doping infrastructure without regard to what the consequences might be for Landis. It also appears that the people around him were not very mature. Calling Lemond was stupid, but this business with hacking LNDD was crazy stupid. The recklessness of it is amazing. People go to prison for such things.
I don't blame him for fighting the doping charge. I would do the same. Although I would like to think that I would not paint myself into a corner like he did. I don't blame him for doping either. In any situation where there is a systemic problem, there are tremendous pressures and advantages for going along. No matter what people on forums say about these things as they paint such issues in black and white, I tend to think that if they were in a similar position then they would choose the same path as most of the european pros evidently have. But, of course, I am a rather cynical person. The reward/risk ratio for doping is very favorable for someone who was in Landis' position on the pro cycling ladder.
I really do not know what the good options are for Landis at this point. If it were me, I would be angry as hell about being made a primary scapegoat for what is standard practice. There would be a definite urge to burn the whole house down, whatever the consequences, by telling all.
Landis' worries about his future makes telling the truth difficult. He has raced bikes his whole life. I don't think he has much of an education. The thought of switching careers must be scary. Financially, the smart thing to do would be for him to hang his head, race a few more years, and collect what money he can before age forces him to retire from sport. Maybe he can make enough money racing domestically to ease the transition to the next phase of his life, which he should be planning right now.
Doing that leaves him a shamed figure. Every time an article on doping appears in the U.S. media, he will be mentioned as an example of a doper. His defense and denials have poisoned his image among a large segment of cycling fans--not as much as Hamilton but his image is pretty bad. I don't think I would want to live the rest of my life like that. I would want to spread the shame around by letting the public know the extent of the problem.
For me the short term financial issues would not trump the long term reputation issues. The reputation issues may also affect his long term financial issues. Landis' personality would play a big part in his course of action, though. Some people truly don't care what society thinks of them or they are comfortable or even delighted with being the bad boy. Maybe FLandis fits into that category. Although what seems cool when you are twenty or thirty may not seem quite as cool when you are forty...or fifty.
I also think that the times have changed enough that someone like Landis or Hamilton telling all would receive a very different reception than it would have three or four years ago, not just in the community of cycling fans but also in american society at large. Major sports stars in the United States gone to prison for lying about doping. Bonds is scheduled to go on trial for perjury. Manny Rameriz was just busted. What Landis or Hamilton could say would merely be confirmation of what a lot of non-fans already suspect about cycling.
Americans have a wide puritanical streak. They like to see everything in black and white. This will affect the way Landis is seen by the public. As part of that puritanical streak, though, is a belief in repentance and atonement. Americans have time and time again shown that they are willing to mostly absolve those who sincerely confess and ask for forgiveness. I tend to think that over the long term that telling the truth would be the best course of action for Landis.