MALIBU, Calif. - The Floyd Landis hearing took a chaotic twist yesterday when fellow American Tour de France champion Greg LeMond revealed he had been sexually abused as a child and claimed the Landis camp tried to use it as blackmail to keep LeMond from testifying.
It was a shock, not only because of the content of the three-time Tour de France winner's much-awaited appearance, but also because of the contrast between his testimony and three days of scientific nitpicking. LeMond said he used the story of his being sexually abused when he was 6 as an example of how it's good to get things out in the open. "It nearly destroyed me by keeping the secret," LeMond said.
He said he told Landis that very few people knew that about him, then accused someone in the Landis camp of using that information Wednesday night to intimidate him from appearing as a witness.
LeMond described receiving a call that he said he later traced to the cell phone of Landis' manager, Will Geoghegan. "He said, 'I'll be there tomorrow and we can talk about how we used to' perform a sexual act," LeMond said. "I thought this was intimidation to keep me from coming here."