Armstrong fires back at Landis
Advertiser News Services
Floyd Landis ignored desperate pleas from his sponsor to avoid a public fight with Lance Armstrong, according to e-mails the seven-time Tour de France champion released in trying to prove the disgraced cyclist has "zero credibility."
Armstrong released the messages yesterday in a second day of attacks on Landis, who accused cycling's biggest star of doping, teaching other riders to cheat and paying off a top cycling official after allegedly testing positive in 2002.
Armstrong has denied those allegations.
"Even a superficial review reveals a troubling, angry and misplaced effort at retribution by Landis for his perceived slights," said a statement posted on Armstrong's RadioShack team website. "While these types of repeated, tired and baseless accusations against Lance have been proven false in the past, it is quite regrettable, but telling, that so many in cycling are now attacked."
Landis did not respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press. His longtime sponsor, Dr. Brent Kay, also did not return a request for comment.
Perhaps the most telling exchange was a long e-mail from Kay, a cycling enthusiast and one of Landis' most ardent supporters, financially and otherwise. Kay has steadfastly said he believes Landis wasn't guilty of doping when he won cycling's most famous race in 2006.
Rain washes out qualifying: Last night's qualifying for the NASCAR All-Star race at Concord, N.C. was rained out, giving Kurt Busch the pole based on the qualifying draw.
Joey Logano will start on the outside of the front row for tonight's 100-lap race that pays more than $1 million to the winner. Brad Keselowski will start third, followed by Jamie McMurray, Kyle Busch and David Reutimann.
"It feels great. It puts us that much closer to a million dollars," Kurt Busch said. "Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and my boat put the best lap down today."
NASCAR also canceled qualifying for today's preliminary Sprint Cup. That gave David Ragan the pole.
Favre has ankle surgery: Brett Favre posted a short statement on his website last night confirming he had arthroscopic ankle surgery, possibly clearing the way for the quarterback to return to the Minnesota Vikings next season.
Favre's future has been up in the air since the Vikings lost to New Orleans in the NFC championship game. He had said he would need ankle surgery if he wanted to play in 2010, but there was no word yesterday about his playing career.
"This is to confirm that I did have a procedure to remove some scar tissue and bone spurs from my ankle which had been bothering me for a period of time," Favre said on his website. "I appreciate your concerns."
Serena, Federer top French: Thanks to yesterday's draw, four-time champion Justine Henin's return to Roland Garros for the French Open as the 22nd seed might include a third-round match with Maria Sharapova and a rivalry-renewing quarterfinal with Serena Williams.
The bracket also sets up the No. 1-seeded Williams, who won the 2002 French Open, to face No. 4 Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals. Williams' older sister, No. 2 Venus, could meet No. 5 Elena Dementieva in the quarterfinals and defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals.
Defending champion and top-seeded Roger Federer plays 71st-ranked Peter Luczak of Australia in the men's first round, while four-time champion and second-seeded Rafael Nadal was drawn to begin against 18-year-old Gianni Mina of France.