Vuelta a España

Bicycle racing dragged back into its shady past

Floyd Landis was a feel-good story in a sport that desperately needed one.

Bicycle racing, plagued with doping virtually as long as people have pushed pedals in anger, had started this year's Tour de France under a familiar cloud. The two top favorites and several other contenders were kicked out because of allegations that they were involved in a doping ring in Spain. There was no final verdict of guilt, just evidence, but in a sport trying to rid itself of a chemical-enhanced image, that is all it takes to get banned. Bye-bye Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso.

Hello, Floyd Landis. The American born in a humble Mennonite community in Pennsylvania who rebelled in a...