Disgraced cyclist Floyd Landis, who triggered an uproar last week by accusing Lance Armstrong and other top riders of being involved in doping for years, on Friday found himself without a racing team.
Rahsaan Bahati, a 28-year-old cyclist from Compton and founder of the Bahati Foundation cycling team, said Friday that Landis and Dr. Brent Kay, a longtime sponsor of Landis, were no longer associated with the team.
Bahati cited Landis’ behavior for the split and said he was particularly disturbed by e-mails from Landis to Amgen Tour of California director Andrew Messick that suggested that Kay’s Ouch Sports Medical Center should be refunded the $40,000 it spent for a sponsorship tent at last Saturday’s time trial after the Bahati team was not invited into the race.
“That was done without my knowledge,” Bahati said Friday, “and it was disappointing to me.”
But he also said he saw a different Landis in that tent.
“I was a little confused about why he would come to the race,” Bahati said. “But it was as if the worry was lifted off his shoulders.”
Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drug test and served a two-year ban, had denied ever using drugs. Yet last week he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during that Tour victory. In addition, in a series of e-mails, Landis accused Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie and George Hincapie of doping before 2006.
“I do accept that Floyd felt the need to confess,” Bahati said. “But I was disappointed in the manner he went about his business. I’m disappointed he made the decision to throw other people under the bus.”
The decision to split from Landis and Kay, Bahati said, “was mutual” even though it leaves his team in “difficult” financial circumstances.
“I felt as if it would be great to have Floyd getting a chance with us,” he said. “I don’t dislike Floyd, even after this. But seeing those e-mails last week was very upsetting. The way he said some things, handled some things in relation to this team. It was regrettable.”