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My $100K Offer to Floyd Landis

Michael's Minute

To:
Floyd Landis
Phonak Cycling Team
Eichtal 8634 Hombrechtikon

Dear Floyd,

Over the years I've watched every second of the outstanding coverage on the OLN network of the Tour de France - the toughest race in the world. I used to race bikes in my collegiate years. My roommate and high school buddy convinced me to go out for the UCSD Cycling team. I wasn't blessed with much natural talent, but persevered and actually won a race in my 4 year career. It helped me understand some of what goes into the 3-week torture called the Tour.

When I first heard the television announcers mention your name I took special interest because of your ties to my hometown of San Diego. I watched your years of loyal work as a domestique on Team Discovery to helping pull Lance Armstrong to 3 of his Tour victories. I know how tough it is to literally carry water and sacrifice your own body and chance for victory for your leader so I cheered your move to the Phonak Team where you'd have a chance to see just how good you could be.

This year, I learned about your grounded Mennonite upbringing where your mom made you ride your bike with sweat pants. And with the list of cheaters that were kicked out before the beginning of the Tour, I looked forward to your opportunity in the big race. Your stunning revelations about your dead hip midway through the race just made me cheer for you harder. On Stage 15 when you reclaimed the leader's yellow jersey on the infamous Alpe d'Huez, I thought you'd keep it until the podium in Paris. But the next day I watched you collapse and fall more than 10 minutes behind the leaders. Like many I thought your chance for victory was over this year. Your epic ride on Stage 17 which included an 80 mile solo breakaway over 4 mountain passes left me in awe and of course put you back in contention. (On that morning I was preparing to ride my bike to work so I happened to be watching morning coverage in cycling gear. My son asked if it was more fun to watch it dressed up pretending like I was there. Funny.) Your solid time trial sealed the victory and I celebrated with you from my couch on your ride down Champs-Elysées as the Champion.

Needless to say I was shocked by the news headlines days later announcing your positive test for out of ratio levels of testosterone. I guess we're awaiting results from the B sample but these tests are rarely inaccurate so I have to believe those results will simply confirm results from the first test. Which leaves me to ponder what the truth is. I don't want to believe you are a cheater. I've heard news reports of your denial, but that carries little weight after the string of baseball and track athletes' bold-faced lies that they have "never knowingly" taken banned substances only to later have it revealed that there were truck loads of physical evidence.

I want to believe you earned your victory through grit, determination and hard training, but I need proof. I would like to offer to pay you $100,000 to take a polygraph test. The test would cover the 2006 Tour de France and your alleged use of banned drugs leading up to and during the event. We could agree to the questions before hand. After the test I would make the video of the test itself and the results as determined by the independent examiner available on the net for free for all to view. Whether the results exonerate or implicate you they would be published to the world.

The results would not influence the outcome of your case with the cycling sanctioning body, but a positive result would bolster millions of fans like me who want to believe that their new cycling hero is clean. I hope you'll take me up on this opportunity.

Your wavering fan,

Michael Robertson

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