Feb. 12, 2008
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, an outspoken opponent of doping in cycling, will address the ethical issues that threaten the future of the sport in a talk Sunday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m. in the SCU Leavey Center. Joining him in the discussion will be San Francisco Chronicle columnist Gwen Knapp, who has written extensively about doping. The presentation coincides with the beginning of the Tour of California cycling race, due to start on the afternoon of February 17 with a time trial in Palo Alto, Calif. The event is free and open to the public.
The event is co-sponsored by the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, the SCU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports, and the Commonwealth Club Silicon Valley.
LeMond has long been a critic of doping in cycling. During 2007, he played an unexpected role in the international arbitration hearing that eventually decided American cyclist Floyd Landis should forfeit his 2006 Tour de France title due to testing that found abnormally high levels of testosterone. LeMond testified that he had spoken with Landis after his "A" urine sample had tested positive, urging him that if his "B" sample was also positive, he should come clean, help his sport, and "more importantly, help himself." Before his testimony, LeMond had been threatened by Landis' manager.
The doping problem has been most public in the Tour de France--two stage winners of the 2007 Tour withdrew from the race amid doping allegations--but its influence is so pervasive that T-Mobile recently withdrew its sponsorship of a professional cycling team, stating that the company did not want to associate its brand with doping.
In the face of such problems, how can cycling restore its integrity and have a vital future? LeMond will speak about why cyclists resort to doping and about what cycling should do as it looks to the future. Knapp will also offer insights on the issue. LeMond was the first American winner of the Tour de France, taking the 1986 title of the weeks-long, grueling event. Then, after a devastating hunting accident in 1987, he recovered to win the Tour title in both 1989 and 1990. He is a two-time ABC Wide World of Sports Athlete of the Year; received the Pernod Trophy awarded to the best cyclist in the world; and is in the Cycling Hall of Fame.