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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lance Armstrong still in denial

Kristin and Lance Armstrong in 1999

Lance Armstrong's ex-wife Kristin, was a willing participant in her husband's drug taking and helped him cover it up, according to former team-mate Jonathan Vaughters.  He says she used the code word "butter" to describe the synthetic blood-boosting hormone EPO and kept it in the couple's fridge.  It's also alleged that she wrapped tablets of cortisone in aluminium foil and handed them out to riders.

Frankie and Betsy Andreu and Armstrong (right)

But not all the riders' girlfriends and wives were willing to go along with the lie.  In a sworn affidavit, cyclist Frankie Andreu said that in 1996, he and his future wife Betsy, visited Armstrong in hospital when he was battling cancer.  During that visit, he alleges Armstrong told them he was using EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids.

Betsy was furious and went to the media and when Armstrong found out, he started an intimidation campaign against her that lasted for years.  He sent an email to her husband Frankie "Helping to bring me down is not going to help y'alls situation.  There is a direct link to all our success here, may I suggest you remind her of that."

In 2008, Betsy received a sinister voicemail from a friend of Armstrong.  "I hope somebody breaks a baseball bat over your head, I also hope that one day you have adversity in your life and you have some type of tragedy that will definitely make an impact on you."

Frankie Andreu said "If he wants to intimidate you, he'll be the bully, if he wants you to believe his lie, he will charm the hell out of you." Armstrong is also accused of threatening to fire team members who refused to use the drugs.

How could Armstrong possibly believe that the truth wouldn't eventually come out?  There were far too many people involved for it to stay a secret forever, it was bound to weigh heavily on someone's conscience.

But this sad story is only just beginning because some of these individuals are still playing an active role in sport today, and we need to find out who they are.

Matt White has been sacked as men's road coordinator by Cycling Australia (CA) after he admitted to doping during his time with Lance Armstrong's US Postal team.