In the 2005 Tour de France he finished ninth -- impressive for a teammate whose job was to help team leader Lance Armstrong save energy, avoid crashes and squelch attacks from other teams.
He left the team after that year to lead his own team, avoiding a clash of ego because Armstrong retired the same year.
In 2006 Floyd won the tour, in spectacular fashion, losing huge chunks of time one day when a flubbed on-bike food-and-drink cycle left him dehydrated and weak when others rode strongly.
He made all the time up the next day, breaking away from the pack alone early in the race and riding so hard by himself he was able to keep a huge lead all the way to the finish despite the disadvantage of having no one in front to provide aerodynamic cover that saves any pack of riders 30 percent to 40 percent the effort and, consequently, lets the pack ride a lot faster than just one guy.
Not surprisingly, French anti-doping officials showed up to test Floyd after.
His testosterone levels were way out of whack. Enough that it was less surprising that he rode so strongly than it was that he didn't turn into either the Hulk or a Neanderthal as he pedaled.
They took away his victory in the Tour de France and penalized him.
Floyd fought the accusation and then the penalties. He appealed the suspensions and the rejections of his appeals.
Floyd raised more than $1 million from the public by appealing to supporters to the 'Floyd Fairness Fund."
Landis: I'm clean, French anti-doping agency is dirty
He went on TV to promise he was innocent; he did hundreds of interviews saying he was innocent.
He and his lawyers charged that the French anti-doping establishment was anti-American and the results were the result of bias in the testing.
Landis wrote a book saying he was innocent, that the French bodies governing cycling were corrupt, that many people in cycling were guilty of doping, but that he was innocent.
The controversy broke up Floyd's Phonak team. His best friend, a former pro with whom Landis rode, committed suicide, partly, Landis said, due to the controversy and his knowledge of Floyd's doping.
None of the anti-doping agencies bought his excuses for a second. They found him guilty and recommended USA Cycling ban him for two years. Only a rider's national cycling licensing body can ban him for rule breaking.
Credit: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini