Over the course of a 90-minute interview, Landis described in detail for “Nightline” how he says he and fellow cyclists — his former friends — doped during the Tour de France.
CLICK HERE to watch the full report on Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong and performance-enhancing drugs in cycling [in three parts: “Did Lance Cheat?” “Under Pressure” and “Continuing Details” – ed.]
“If I’m taking on Lance Armstrong, then that should be evidence enough that there’s a problem with the system, because I’m saying it — a bunch of people did it,” Landis said. “Look. At some point, people have to tell their kids that Santa Claus isn’t real. I hate to be the guy to do it, but it’s just not real.”
We asked Landis: You’re saying Lance Armstrong is a fraud?
“Well, it depends on what your definition of fraud is,” Landis said. “I mean it — look — if he didn’t win the Tour, someone else that was doped would have won the Tour. In every single one of those Tours.”
Nightline: I have to say, Floyd, you say it in such a matter-of-fact way. And yet, this is a man, Lance Armstrong, who has denied up and down for a decade that he’s on anything but his butt … Anything but just hard work.
Landis: I denied it as well.
Nightline: You’re saying Lance Armstrong is a liar.
Landis: Yes, I suppose, if that’s the question, yes.
When asked why he chose to come forward to ABC News Landis said, “It’s about the truth. It’s about me feeling better for having mislead the public. I would like to take this opportunity to just say that I’m sorry for having lied. I’m glad I don’t have to lie. It was hard to do interviews where I was lying. I didn’t feel good about those.”