Personally I’m hoping that Landis and the Tour de France comes through this latest drug question in great shape. I’m pulling for almost any sport that provides an alternative to the big professional ones with their outrageous ticket prices. But so far, the crisis communications is pretty disappointing. Landis was on my local TV news last night. The anchor introduced his comments to another reporter by saying that Landis denied drug use but, she said, listen carefully and judge for yourself. Well, with that introduction she decided not to let us judge for ourselves. She made it clear with her words and her knowing smile what she thought of Landis’ answer.
Not that she was wrong. When asked directly if he had ever doped up he said something vague about it being an issue in the sport and then said “I’m going to say ‘no” to that.” Well, if you are going to deny something, for goodness sake deny it. Half hearted denials don’t go very far. Of course, if you did it, keep your mouth shut, stay away from the microphones, or come up with a much better key message dodge than that. Best thing is to stay away.
I see he has a news conference scheduled today. I’ll be eager to see if he does a better job of denying it or, if he did use illegal substances, I hope for the sake of the sport he admits, apologizes, commits to help clean up the sport, and graciously congratulate the real winner. Hmmm, I doubt it.