Lance: Landis 'served his time'

Updated: January 23, 2009, 9:12 AM ET
Associated Press

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Lance Armstrong is prepared to "forgive and forget" and welcome Floyd Landis back to cycling when his former teammate ends a two-year doping ban in the Tour of California in February.

Armstrong said Landis had "served his time" after being stripped of his win in the 2006 Tour de France for showing abnormally high levels of testosterone.

"People serve their time just like everybody else and when their time is up they get to go back to work," Armstrong said Friday after the fourth stage of the six-stage Tour Down Under -- his own comeback race after three years in retirement.

"There was a suspension, [now] get back on the bike and let's race.

"There's no point in criticizing [banned cyclist Ivan] Basso or criticizing Landis. You've paid your penalty. That's normally the way society works. Let's forgive and forget and get on down the road."

Landis said in an Associated Press interview Thursday that his return would be "good for cycling" and Armstrong, who will also ride in the Tour of California, agreed.

"It's good that the strongest people in the world are in the biggest races in the world," he said. "Floyd's a friend of mine and a former teammate and he has a lot of fans.

"You have to remember he may have been found guilty but if you polled the people at the end of the trial more than 50 percent thought he was innocent, so in regard to that it's good that he's back."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press