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L.A. Confidential Excerpt



 
 
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Old October 8th 04, 04:31 PM
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Default L.A. Confidential Excerpt

Subject: Excerpt from LA CONFIDENTIAL – The Secrets of Lance Armstrong


After making public his dislike of Lance Armstrong's trainer and
confidante Michele Ferrari in an interview with The Sunday Times in
July 2001, Greg LeMond expected the telephone call. Not only had
LeMond, a three-time winner of the Tour de France, criticised Dr.
Ferrari, he offered an opinion that would become the central question
in the story of Lance Armstrong. "If it is true," said LeMond, "it is
the greatest comeback in the history of sport; if it is not, it is the
greatest fraud."

Two weeks after expressing his doubts, LeMond travelled to London to
meet representatives of the multi-national oil company Conoco who were
planning to sponsor cycling. On August 1 he returned on a direct
flight to Minneapolis-St Paul and was met by his wife Kathy. As he
climbed into the driver's seat of Kathy's Audi station wagon his
mobile telephone rang. Realising whom it was, LeMond mouthed "it's
Lance" to his wife.

Greg LeMond refuses to be interviewed about the conversation that
followed as he has agreed with Trek, a major sponsor of the US Postal
Service cycling team and the distributor of LeMond Bikes, not to speak
publicly about his fellow American. There is nothing to stop his wife
speaking about what she overheard and what she wrote down as they
travelled from the airport to their home outside Minneapolis-St Paul.

"While the call was going on I took notes of everything that was said
by Greg," says Kathy LeMond, "and then recapped with Greg the comments
by Lance immediately after the conversation was over. Some of his
words I could hear because he was so loud while talking to Greg.
Afterwards I pieced together the principal elements of what was said
between them."

LA: "Greg, this is Lance."

GL: "Hi Lance, what are you doing?"

LA: "I'm in New York."

GL: "Ah, okay."

LA: "Greg, I thought we were friends."

GL: "I thought we were friends."

LA: "Why did you say what you said?"

GL: "About Ferrari? Well, I have a problem with Ferrari. I'm
disappointed you are seeing someone like Ferrari. I have a personal
issue with Ferrari and doctors like him. I feel my career was cut
short, I watched a team-mate die, I saw the devastation of innocent
riders losing their careers. I don't like what has become of our
sport."

LA: "Oh come on, now, you're telling me you never done EPO?"

GL: "Why would you say I did EPO?"

LA: "Come on, everyone's done EPO."

GL: "Why do you think I did it?"

LA: "Well, your comeback in '89 was so spectacular. Mine's a miracle,
yours was a miracle. You couldn't have been as strong as you were in
'89 without EPO."

GL: "Listen Lance, before EPO was ever in cycling, I won the Tour de
France. First time I was in the Tour, I was third; second time I
should have won but was held back by my team, third time I won it. It
is not because of EPO that I have won the Tour, my haematocrit was
never more than 45, but because I had a V02 max of 95, yours was 82.
Tell me one person who said I did EPO."

LA: "Everyone knows it."

GL: "Are you threatening me?"

LA: "If you want to throw stones, I will throw stones."

GL: "So you are threatening me? Listen Lance, I know physiology; no
amount of training can transform an athlete with a VO2 max of 82 into
one with a VO2 Max of 95 and you have ridden faster than I did."

LA: "I can find at least ten people who will say you did EPO. Ten
people who would come forward."

GL: "That's impossible. I know I never did that. There is no one that
can come forward and say that. If I had taken EPO, I would have had a
haematocrit higher than 45. I never did. And if I have that accusation
levelled against me, I will know it came from you."


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The 1993 Tour de France began at Le Puy du Fou, a cultural theme park
in the Vendee. On the evening before the race began, the competing
teams were presented to the public at a ceremony in the theme park.
This was Lance Armstrong's first experience of the race, for he was
then a 21-year-old in his first full season as a professional bike
racer. Armstrong and his eight Motorola teammates waited off-stage for
the announcer to call them into the limelight, chatting excitedly as
they waited their turn.

"As we stood there, Lance whispered in my ear," recalls Phil Anderson,
the Australian who was then the team's most experienced racer. "He
said: ‘This is what bike racing is all about. This is what life's
about.' There were thousands of people outside, the guy on the public
address was hyping it up, there was a band playing, a big screen
relayed the pictures and Lance just loved every moment of that. He was
this bright-eyed guy who was now exactly where he wanted to be. He
carried himself well: very confident. Outspoken too, he had that Texan
brashness. If he wasn't going to lead a bike racing team, he would
lead in politics or in business or wherever. He was like ‘this is
where I belong'."

The years passed. Armstrong rode the Tour de France four times before
being diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996. Although he
was amongst the best one-day racers of that time, Armstrong's best
finish in his four pre-cancer Tours was 26th. Then sickness came and
threatened to take everything. By the time he had his enlarged
testicle examined, the cancer was on its way to his lungs and brain.
The surgery was risky, the chemo brutal, the prognosis pessimistic. He
might survive but the days of elite sport seemed over.

Twenty days from now, the 2004 Tour de France will begin in Liege,
Belgium. Armstrong will be given the number 1 dossard (italics),
denoting last year's champion. It is the number he has worn in the
last four Tours. This year he will attempt his sixth consecutive
victory in the race, a feat that has never before been achieved.
Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Miguel Indurain; they
all won five. Armstrong is expected to go one further.

It recalls a moment from the first press conference he gave at his
first Tour, after winning the eighth stage into Verdun. "Your namesake
and compatriot Neil went to the moon, how far can this Armstrong go?"
asked a journalist. For a moment Armstrong was embarrassed, stuck for
words. It was as if the question touched a nerve. He intended to go
far: as far as the astronaut? Who knows? Maybe. Though to have said
that would have been foolish. So, instead he just asked for the next
question.

Who knows from where it came? What made Lance Armstrong a sporting
icon and a man who is inspiration to the community of cancer sufferers
and survivors? He now earns around $20m-a-year, is routinely a
candidate for Sports Illustrated Sportstar Of The Year and often the
winner and after the break-up of his marriage to Kristin, he is now
dating the rock star, Sheryl Crowe.

Was it in the genes created by the coming together of Linda Mooneyham
and a man called Gunderson? Linda, had been a hard-working and driven
mum; a mostly single mother dedicated to her only child. If you don't
give 100%, she would tell him, you don't make it. And as she moved
from one job to another, always bettering herself, her life was a
monument to earnestness. About Gunderson, we know little. He married
Linda at the time of the pregnancy but the relationship was over two
years later. Armstrong never knew his biological father and his
subsequent indifference to establishing any kind of relationship
reflects the hardness that is one of the pillars of his character. His
view is that Gunderson provided the DNA; no more, an accident of fate
that does not make him his father.

Far more certain is the impact of Armstrong's lower middle-class
background. His emotional toughness and his determination to make
something of his life are a reaction to the circumstances of his
upbringing. His mum had to take two or three jobs at a time to make
ends meet and from the first moment he could get a grip on these
things, Armstrong understood life's unfairness. It made him resentful.
In the early years of his professional career, when he constantly
rubbed people up the wrong way, his team-mates joked that the chip on
his shoulder was the size of his native Texas.

He won that stage of the 1993 Tour de France into Verdun by surging
through a narrow corridor between the French rider Ronan Pensec and
the steel crash barrier on the right. It was an audacious sprint by
Armstrong. "Physically I'm not any more gifted than anybody else," he
said a few days later, "but it's just this desire, just this rage. I'm
on the bike and I go into a rage, when I just shriek for about five
seconds. I shake like mad and my eyes kind bulge out. I swear, I sweat
a little more and the heart rate goes like 200 a minute. And that's
not physical: that's not legs; that's not lungs. That's heart. That's
soul. That's just guts.'

Heart, soul and guts. So that's it then?


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Professional cycling in Europe has always been different. It is on the
old continent that the sport began. On small roads in France, Belgium
and Italy, cycling developed its DNA. The black and white photographs
of riders in woollen jerseys, a spare tyre looped around their torsos,
pain written on their faces; they are the images that define the
sport. For the suffering was an offering, a gift freely given by the
competitors to the public. They pushed themselves into
God-knows-what-hell, endured the torture and mostly for little more
than the admiration of the fans. The sport taxed every aspect of a
man's character. It tapped into his nobility and fed off his capacity
to endure hardship. It also tempted him to seek refuge in less
admirable days and if by dipping into the pharmaceutical bag, the pain
could be eased, who could blame the wretch for succumbing? Prisoners
of the road they were called.

To help them survive, they developed their own morality. It was loose
to begin with. Doping has always been part of the game, cheating a way
of life. Not that they see it like this. In a sport so punishing, who
can say it is wrong to ease the pain? Yes the drugs may eventually
kill them but before that they will have had some kind of life. In the
early days, it was mostly amphetamines. In the mid-80s cortisone,
testosterone and caffeine were amongst the drugs routinely abused.
They helped recovery, improved performance but they were not so
powerful that those who doped would always beat those who didn't.
There were always some riders who tried to play within the rules. With
the 90s came erythropoietin (EPO), the drug that alters the
composition of the blood and changes the nature of competition. For a
clean rider to beat an EPO-fuelled rival is extremely difficult. Over
the course of a long stage race like the Tour de France, it is
probably impossible.

Armstrong joined the Motorola team in late 1992 and entered the
European peloton at a time when the use of erythropoietin was growing.
Within two years, abuse of the drug would be widespread. After an
excellent 1993, when Armstrong became the youngest world champion on
the road, the Motorola team struggled in 1994. The New Zealander
Stephen Swart joined the team that year, having spent the previous
five years racing in the US:

"I knew straightaway I was going to have to face something. I had
heard about EPO, word had filtered back through the gravevine to the
States. We heard it was a blood-booster and it increased your oxygen
capacity by x,y and z but I still didn't imagine it could have changed
things to the extent it did. In Motorola some of the older guys were a
bit demoralised by the change. I mean we would go to a race like
Tirreno Adriatico at the start of the season and spend a week there
riding at our limit just to survive. Just so we could finish the race.
It was crazy."

In early 1994 a number of Motorola riders heard Italian teams were
using a centrifuge to measure their haematocrit: that is their red
cell count as a percentage of their total blood volume. EPO boosted
the red cell count and the centrifuge helped riders to monitor the
state of their drug-enhanced blood. Increased red cells meant more
oxygen and enhanced performance, too much EPO causing a thickening of
the blood that could lead to a blocking of the arteries and death from
heart failure. One of the more experienced Motorola riders, Sean
Yates, knew one of the Italian teams that used a centrifuge and, out
of curiosity, decided to have his haematocrit checked.

Yates was not using EPO but simply wanted to find out how much of a
disadvantage he and his team-mates were at. Taking the tiniest amount
of blood, the Italians told him his haematocrit was 41. "You might as
well as go back to bed," they said, "You have no chance of winning
with that haematocrit." Yates went back and told his team-mates about
his encounter. The story confirmed what most Motorola riders had
already figured.

One Motorola rider of the mid-90s recalls the mood within the team in
1994. "As a team, we were pretty innocent. That's not to say one or
two of our riders weren't doing something off their own bat but as a
team, we were pretty clean. Our director sportif Jim Ochowicz and our
doctor, Max Testa, didn't want to know about doping. ‘Och' didn't want
to stay in the room if we were talking about it and Max tried to
convince us there was a natural way to ride well. He said we didn't
need the **** other teams were using. One of the problems we had was
our ignorance. At the time, 1994, there was no control of EPO. It was
undetectable and we were two years away from the rule that said you
couldn't race with a greater than 50% haematocrit. We hadn't a clue
about how much we would have to use, how often we would have to take
it and how dangerous it might be. All we knew was that it was
expensive to buy.

"The difference with Lance was he had (italics) to be successful. He
didn't want a career that was average. His attitude was like: ‘we need
to step up here; we need to do something.' If you weren't doing this,
you couldn't compete; it was as simple as that. The whole thing bugged
Lance, it eat into him. He wasn't content to be beaten by guys that he
might have been better than. I am sure it was as a result of this that
he began working with Michele Ferrari." Dr. Ferrari was an Italian
cycling doctor with a bad reputation. In 1994 he had said that if used
properly, EPO was no more dangerous than orange juice.

Max Testa was Motorola's team doctor and was opposed to doping. But in
the rapidly changing environment of the mid-90s, he had to familiarise
himself with the pharmacology of the sport. "In one respect, I was
like an ostrich during these years; there were things I didn't want to
see. But I had to know what was going on and not be afraid to speak
about it. If I said I didn't know anything about it, the Motorola
riders would have completely shut me out. For them I would have been a
nobody. Sometimes they were testing you, trying to see what you knew
and I kept up to date because I wanted to maintain contact with them."

He remembers specific conversations about EPO. "I recall one in
particular, don't remember which race, it might even have been a
training camp. We were in this room and I had made copies of a couple
of studies that were published on the effects of increased haematocrit
and increased haemoglobin. This was the time when riders from other
teams were rumoured to have 60% haematocrits and I was trying to say
EPO wasn't as influential as everyone thought.

"Eventually, I had doubts about some of our riders, maybe they were
doing something. But there are two considerations here; one is
confidentiality and the other is proof. As much as I hate doping, I
can not jump to conclusions. Also, I can not base my views on
confidential information I have received from riders when we were in a
privileged doctor-patient relationship. The riders were my patients,
and I had to stay on their side. My job was to discourage them from
taking things but at the same time leave the door open if they had a
problem."


------------line break----------line break--------line break---------

In April 2001, I travelled to the south of France to interview Lance
Armstrong. He asked if it was okay for his lawyer and manager, Bill
Stapleton, to sit in on the interview. We spoke at length about
cycling's doping culture. He recalled his early professional career.
"My days at Motorola?" he said. "Motorola was as white as snow, and I
was there all the way through '96."

Q: "Had you no suspicion [about other teams doping] even when Michele
Ferrari made his statement about EPO being no more dangerous than
orange juice?"

A: "(Long pause) Ahhhm, no."

Q: "You didn't wonder what EPO was?'

A: "I think that sometimes quotes can get taken out of context and I
think even at that time I recognised that."

Q: "Had you been aware of EPO?"

A: "Here we're talking seven years ago. Had I heard of it? Probably."

Q: "Ferrari was, in effect, saying he gave it to his guys?"

A: "I didn't read the article. I don't know."

Q: "But from this time onwards, EPO became a big thing in cycling, a
huge thing. How conscious were you guys in Motorola that EPO had
become a factor in cycle racing?"

A: "We didn't think about it. It wasn't an issue for us. It wasn't an
option. Jim Ochowicz ran the programme that he set out to run, a clean
programme. Max Testa, the doctor, set out to run a clean programme and
that (EPO) wasn't part of our medical programme."

Q: "Surely you were frustrated at the thought that these guys were
using the substance Ferrari had talked about?"

A: "There's no proof of that. I wasn't going to sit around and talk
about it. This is ages ago for me, you have to understand also, that
part of my career, that part of my life is finished."


----------line break--------line break-------line break---------


Stephen Swart, the Kiwi member of the Motorola team, has a very
different memory of what took place in the mid-90s.

"In 1994, we suffered. We never got that king-hit, the big win. It
didn't prey on my mind as much as the guys who were leaders of the
team. And the director sportif, it was tough on him. He had to answer
to the sponsors. If you don't get results, you don't get more funding.
If you don't get funding, you don't have a team. And the media were
hammering us. Jim Ochowicz didn't want to know about a doping
programme but as riders, we could feel the pressure to deliver
results. We wanted to continue riding for this team; we quite liked
the ambience. In one respect it was good we weren't forced to dope, no
one in that team twisted our arms. We knew they were pretty much
against it but at the end of the day, it came down to whether we were
in or out: you either did what the other teams were doing or you got
out of the sport."

According to Swart, a select few Motorola riders made the decision
early in 1995 to get on a doping programme and make use of the
benefits offered by EPO. "My memory is that there wasn't that much
debate about EPO in 1994, it was mostly the following year. Of course
1994 wasn't a good year for the team and there was a question of how
long our sponsors would stick around. Phil (Anderson) and Andy
(Hampsten) left the team at the end of '94, a few others were let go
and new faces came in.

"I think it was after Milan-San Remo in March, I went back to Como for
a couple of days. Lance and Frankie Andreu and Kevin Livingston and
George Hincapie were all living there, as was Max Testa. I hung out
for a couple of days there, staying at a hotel. We were out training
one day; this was at a time when we were thinking seriously about how
we were going to deal with this situation. At the time the mood was
swinging more and more in favour of getting on a (doping) programme.
The feeling was we had to take control. We just had to do something.
As I remember it, what we agreed on that training ride was that anyone
who was going to ride the Tour de France had to be on the programme.

"The younger guys, Kevin and George, weren't brought into the
decision. It was more the decision of the senior guys. We were just
talking talking amongst ourselves, deciding what had to be done. Lance
was very much part of the discussion and his view was that we had to
do it. The pressure was mounting on Jim [Ochowicz] from the sponsors
and we knew if we were to get results, there was only one way and that
was to get on a programme. I don't know if the other guys were doing
it prior to this but they let on they weren't."

Swart's allegation that senior Motorola riders, including Armstrong,
agreed to go on a doping programme in 1995 is delivered in a low key,
matter-of-fact way. His memories of what subsequently happened are
sharp.

Q: "The plan was for each member of the Motorola team to organise his
own doping programme, to get his own supply of EPO?"

A: "Yeah, that's right. We weren't doing it as a team, it was up to
everyone to organise it for themselves."

Q: "Was that difficult?"

A: "No. You just go to Switzerland. I don't know how the other guys
organised their supply but I mean to say, whatever I used, I purchased
myself."

Q: "Did you use Human Growth Hormone as well as EPO?"

A: "No, not hGH. I'd read and heard things about the side effects of
hGH, how your
head could grow and your teeth widen, and I didn't want to use any of
that ****."

Q: "Was it only EPO you were using?"

A: "It was the biggest thing we were doing. I mean cortisone was
pretty much standard issue for most races. EPO was the most far out
thing. Cortisone wasn't a big deal, it was kept in the truck, standard
issue. On hand whenever you wanted it really. It helped you recover
but you also used it prior to the race. We knew that if we used it for
long periods, it would eat away your muscles, so you didn't use it
day-in, day-out."

Q: "When did you first start to use EPO?"

A: "For the 1995 Tour of Switzerland."

Q: "How much did it cost?"

A: "It was between 600 and 700 swiss francs for a box, that was about
1000 kiwi dollars which was a lot of money to have to shell out."

Q: "How did you know how much to take?"

A: "We mapped it out in advance. We were going to take a certain
number of units for ten days and take it on alternate days for a
further week. By the time we were into the Tour de France and
depending on our haematocrit levels, we would just take one or two
injections a week after that."

Q: "Did you tell your wife Jan what you were doing?"

A: "Yeah, I did tell her. She wasn't jumping up and down for joy. She
realised it wasn't the cleanest sport and what we had to do wasn't the
cleanest. But we had decided as a team that whoever was riding the
Tour would have to do it. There was one guy in our team that had no
part of it; that was Kaspars Ozers from Latvia. He never really
mingled with the rest of us and he was just out of the loop. I'm not
sure about Alvaro [Mejia] either."


Q: "Did you use EPO through the 1995 Tour of Switzerland and the Tour
de France?"

A: "No, I mean to say I started in Switzerland but once we hit the
bigger mountain stages, it knocked me for six. I had to pull out. I
was just exhausted, didn't know what was going on."

Q: "How precisely did you feel?"

A: "I just felt like all my form had gone out the window. I had the
Tour de France coming up and I wasn't sure I would be able to start; I
felt that flat. There was over a week in between the two races and I
stuck with the [EPO] course, so many units every second day. I
continued into the first or second day of the Tour and then I knocked
it on the head. I thought ‘I've got nothing to lose, it's not like I
am going to start winning stages of the Tour de France'."

Q: "Were there no benefits at all?"

A: "No, there were. On the first couple of stages of the Tour, the
really quick stages, after the first hour, you felt like you hadn't
even ridden. And at the end of the day, your recovery rate was
fantastic. But it wasn't like you were winning or doing extraordinary
things in the race. I didn't feel that it actually changed anything."

Q; "That feeling of well-being, of quick recovery, was that not a big
benefit?"

A: "Yeah, but I had heard from people that the benefits of EPO stay
with you for some time after you stop taking it. I didn't believe I
had to keep taking it during the Tour de France. Not only that but I
had run out of the stuff and I wasn't going to shell out another
thousand Kiwi dollars for more."

Q: "Motorola's director sportif Jim Ochowicz could hardly have been
unaware of the decision the riders had taken?"

A: "He would have to have been pretty naïve if he didn't know but if
anyone didn't know, Jim would probably be the one. As far as the
soigneurs are concerned, the head soigneurs knew."

Q: "Was Lance Armstrong convinced there was no other option to EPO?"

A: "Yeah, basically it was a case of ‘we have to do it'. We had to get
results. Motorola was throwing all this money at the team and we had
to come up trumps."

Q: "This feeling of having to join cycling's doping race, no one was
more committed to this than Lance?"

A: "Yeah, and I feel he became even more like that as time went on,
because it was around this time his involvement with Ferrari began. I
remember sitting at home in New Zealand the following year and keeping
an eye on the results. There was a big difference between 1995 and
1996 with Lance. At the beginning of 1996, he was flying."

Q: "Ninety-eight per cent of people believe Armstrong is a true
sporting champion?"

A: "Yeah, but 98% of people were never involved in the sporting
arena."

Q: "Armstrong says Motorola hardly discussed doping, does that make
you laugh?"

A: "Pretty much, yeah. I think ‘ah man, you're full of ****."

Nine years have passed since Stephen Swart rode a bike for a living.
He now runs a construction business back in his native New Zealand.
Sometimes in the middle of an Auckland winter, the Tour de France will
appear on the television and he will allow himself be transported back
to the world he once knew. He is amazed that Armstrong has become so
dominant in the Tour. Because he knows how hard it is. Then another
voice speaks up: ‘come on Steve, you know no wins this bike race on
mineral water'. What bothers him is the insistence with which
Armstrong protests his innocence, as if he is as pure as the driven
snow.

"I felt that when he got his cancer, he had an opportunity to tell the
world ‘I did wrong' and if he had done that and come back to a good
level, I would see him in a different light. He had the opportunity to
do something positive for the sport. Instead all he is doing is
helping to keep the sport in the same situation it was in before he
got his cancer. There was the scandal of the 1998 Tour de France and
what did it change? Nothing. Just made the culture of doping more
sophisticated.

"My feeling is that he is actually defrauding people, the survivors of
cancer. He is a spokesperson for them but he has actually got this
chequered past and he is not as pure as he makes himself out to be.
Sure he was a victim of cancer but did he help to bring it on himself?
Personally, I have more respect for a rider like Alex Zulle, at least
he put his hands up and said ‘I did it, I'm sorry.' Lance had the
opportunity to be honest. On his recovery from cancer he could have
helped the sport in some small way but he chose not to."

After the elements of the story concerning Stephen Swart were written,
they were sent to him: an opportunity to consider again what he wished
to say. He replied by email: "I have read and re-read the material.
As far as my memory serves me, it is as close to what I experienced
and saw in my time as a professional cyclist as I can make it. I would
like to ask for one addition to what is already written. It is this:
if all things were equal and there was no doping in cycling, it is my
opinion that Lance Armstrong would have been a champion cyclist."


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In a conversation with one of the authors early in 2001, the
three-time winner of the Tour de France Greg LeMond talked about
Armstrong. LeMond wanted to believe in Armstrong's successes in the
1999 and 2000 Tour de France and to believe that the improvement in
his performance since his cancer made sense. LeMond's view was that if
Armstrong had, as reported, lost 10 kilos in weight, then it was
physiologically possible for him to make enormous progress. But LeMond
had heard Armstrong was working with Dr. Michele Ferrari, who was
standing trial on doping charges in his native Italy. That bothered
LeMond. He had also heard a rumour Armstrong once admitted to doctors
at Indiana Hospital that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs.
"I don't really believe it's true," said LeMond at the time. "The only
reason it stayed in my mind is that the person who told me is a pretty
reliable guy."

There was indeed a rumour that Armstrong had made this admission to
two doctors during a consultation in a meeting room in Indiana
Hospital. The meeting with the doctors was said to have taken place
after Armstrong underwent surgery to remove lesions from his brain in
late October 1996. Six of his then close friends were reputed to have
been in the room when the conversation with the doctors took place.
They were Chris and Paige Carmichael, Frankie and Betsy Andreu,
Stephanie McIlvain and Lisa Shiels. Chris Carmichael was one of
Armstrong's trainers and had been involved with Armstrong since he was
a junior international on the US team. Frankie Andreu was a team-mate
and a good friend. Stephanie McIlvain worked for Oakley, one of
Armstrong's main sponsors, but she was also a good friend. Lisa Shiels
was Armstrong's girlfriend at the time. According to the story, one of
the doctors asked Armstrong if he had used performance-enhancing drugs
and the rider replied he had and listed a number of doping products,
including EPO, human growth hormone and corticosteroids.

We asked Betsy Andreu and Stephanie McIlvain about this alleged
admission. First Andreu:

Q: Did you visit Lance when he was Indiana Hospital in October 1996?

A: Yes, I did.

Q: Were you in a consulting room with your husband-to-be Frankie
Andreu, Chris and Paige Carmichael, Stephanie McIlvain and Lisa Shiels
when Lance admitted to his doctors that he used banned
performance-enhancing drugs?

A: [long pause]

Q: Betsy, are you there? Did you hear Lance admit using banned
performance-enhancing drugs?

A: I have no comment to make on that. You ask Lance that question, not
me.

Q: But did you hear him admit to using banned performance-enhancing
drugs?

A: I told you. I have no comment on that.


We later spoke with McIlvain:

Q: Did you visit Lance at Indiana Hospital in October 1996, after he
had undergone surgery for testicular cancer?

A: Yeah, I was there.

Q: Were you not in a consulting room with Chris and Paige Carmichael,
Frankie and Betsy Andreu and Lisa Shiels when Lance admitted to his
doctors that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs.

A: I am sorry David. I have no comment on that. That's Lance's
business. I am not talking about that.

Q: Did you or did you not hear him admit to using banned
performance-enhancing drugs?

A: Sorry, no comment. If you have any questions you need answered,
talk to Lance.


-------line break---------line break--------line break------


Through the last three months of 1996 and all of 1997, Lance Armstrong
fought and then overcame cancer. He returned to competition with the
US Postal Service team in early 1998, only to discover he hadn't
regained his full strength. So he went away and trained some more and
when he returned again, he quickly rediscovered his form. Remarkably,
the debilitating effects of cancer and four courses of chemotherapy
had not diminished his powers. Seven months into his comeback he
finished fourth in the competitive Tour of Spain and that performance
suggested he could be as good as he was before. He also moved through
the US Postal team like a tornado, sweeping to one side those he felt
weren't up to it. The then director sportif Johnny Weltz was one of
the first casualties.

By the middle of his first season with US Postal, Armstrong decided
the team had to have a new director sportif. At the Tour of Spain in
September, he initiated the talks that led to the appointment as
director sportif of the Belgian, Johan Bruyneel. Emma O'Reilly, a
Dubliner who had worked with the team since 1996 and was Armstrong's
massage therapist, watched the courting of Bruyneel. "It happened
during the Tour of Spain. Lance started to speak of Johan. Though he
was still riding, it was know Johan was in his last season. Lance told
me they were going to meet up and have a chat. During the race they
spoke and I remember Johan coming to our hotel one evening. After the
meeting, Johan wrote Lance an email and after receiving it, Lance told
me how the guy was ‘pure class' because he could see Lance in the
yellow jersey on the Tour de France podium the following year and in
the rainbow jersey (of world champion). That was just what Lance
wanted to hear. Johan knew how to get through to him. He had the job
there and then."

"The hiring of Johan was proof that Lance ran the team," says Jonathan
Vaughters, a US Postal rider at this time. "I mean Johan was the guy
who gave Lance the confidence that he could win the Tour de France. He
was the first person that could see Lance win the Tour and I think
Lance is tied to Johan because of that. Even with Johan on board now,
de facto Lance still runs the team, just as he did back in 1998."
Armstrong was a natural, if not always popular leader. The experience
of surviving cancer strengthened his resolve and added a new layer of
confidence. In the throes of recovery from his illness he addressed
200 guests at a black tie dinner in Hollywood to honour those
Americans who had won Olympic medals in cycling.

"What do you think?' he asked, pointing to the black beret on his
head. (1)

"With?"

He waited a couple of seconds before removing it and showing the bald
pate of the chemotherapy patient.

"Or without?"

Sensing his audience's discomfort, he continued.

"What do you think?"

He put the beret back on and pointed again.

"With?"

He removed it again.

"Or without?"

"Take it off! You don't have to wear it," a voice called from the
audience. He smiled and removed the beret. His point had been
eloquently made: the fear that cancer instils must be addressed and by
addressing it, we diminish it.

As the 1998 season progressed and Armstrong had less and less time for
Weltz, he spoke often with O'Reilly. "At the time I genuinely liked
Lance and part of me still does," she says. "He would shoot me for
saying this but there is something vulnerable about him. You know it's
because of baggage he's carrying. His father left before he ever got
to know him and he had a bad time with his stepfather. Because of
this, he's on this mission to defeat every rival and anyone else who
gets in his way.

"The sense of a man on a mission was there before his cancer.
Definitely. But the cancer gave him the impetus to be more focused. He
realised he had been given a second chance. Revenge was also part of
the motivation; those European teams who said no to him in 1997, who
thought he would never make it back, they really got under his skin.
The little black book inside his head is thick with the names of those
who turned him down. Once you're in that book, you never get out. So
there were two missions after his cancer; one, to rise above the poor
white background he came from; two, to get even with those cycling
teams who turned him down and the only way to do that was to get
results."

But how did he do it? How did he return from cancer to reach the
summit of world cycling and then go continue to travel upwards? Heart?
Soul? Guts? Or something more? In August 1998, six months into his
comeback Armstrong rode the Tour of Holland.

Coming late in the month of August, the Dutch tour takes place at a
time when teams are still recovering from the 23-day Tour de France
and that year US Postal director sportif Weltz allowed his assistant
Denis Gonzales to manage the team in Holland. On the final day
Gonzales was supposed to get Armstrong a lift to the airport but
didn't. O'Reilly offered to take him and the two set off in one of the
team's Volkswagon Passats. At the airport Armstrong handed O'Reilly a
black bag wrapped tightly into a neat package. "Look Emma," he said,
"I didn't get rid of these, will you dump them for me?" They were
syringes; empty syringes that Armstrong had used during the race and
did not care to leave in his hotel room. "Yeah, fine, no problem," she
replied.

O'Reilly was not involved in the team's so called "medical" programme
and it was understood that she would not be asked to do anything that
involved her. That was how she wanted and the team accepted. But there
were occasions (three) when Postal riders asked her to carry a banned
product and other times, like this one, where she was asked to do
something she would rather not do. But when Armstrong asked, it was
difficult to say no.

"I was conscious the car was covered in US Postal livery and was a bit
paranoid about where I dumped them. Just pulling up at the first
services on the motorway and putting them into a bin was too
dangerous. This was just four weeks after the end of the 1998 Tour de
France, with all its doping scandals, and the risk of someone picking
the package out a rubbish bin was high. I was travelling on to Ghent
and felt a little better after crossing the Franco-Belge border. I was
cruising along nicely. Not doing stupid speeds but over the limit for
sure. Being conscious of the package, I wasn't going as fast as
normal.

"After some time I noticed the flashing lights of a police car in my
rear-view mirror. ‘Oh ****.' He was trying to get me to stop, all I
could think of was the syringes. Up ahead there was a slip road into a
motorway services and I pulled in there. He pulled up right behind.
What was I going to tell him? Already I could feel myself shaking.
Different thoughts occurred to me: how many syringes were the in the
package? Six to ten, I reckoned. What traces might they find in the
bottom of the syringes? ‘Anything,' I thought. All the time I was
conscious I had started to perspire.

"I saw him get out of his car and as he came round, I decided that
before anything else I would apologise for driving too fast.

"Officer, I am very sorry for . . ."

"No, no, not that at all. Do you know Mark Gorski?"

"Yeah, he's my boss."

"I used to race with Mark in the 80s."

"Ah, is that so? That's interesting."

"Do you know how I could get in touch with Mark?"

"Yeah, no problem. I have Mark's number, here, you want Mark's
number?"

"That would be great. My son is now racing and I would like to speak
with Mark and invite him to come and stay with us when he is here in
Belgium."

"I'm sure he would like that. Look, you call him on that number. Next
time I see him, I will say we met."

"That would be good. Thank you."

"No, officer, thank you."

"Before we finished our conversation that cop was my best friend. We
parted on great terms, my secret package still safe and unopened in
the glove department of the car. I didn't know what was in the
syringes but I sure didn't want anybody finding out."


-------line break---------line break--------line break------


Nine months later, on May 6 1999, Lance Armstrong finished a short
training camp in the Pyrenees. He had gone there to familiarise
himself with the route the Tour de France would take through the
Pyrenees two months later. A select few people from the Postal team
were invited to accompany him. There was the director sportif Johan
Bruyneel, the team doctor Luis Del Moral, the mechanic Julien de
Vriese and Emma O'Reilly. As they were breaking up and heading off to
their respective homes, Armstrong asked O'Reilly if she would drive
down to Spain and collect some medical product from Del Moral at the
team's base in Piles on the east coast.

"Oh okay," I said, "I'll do it this time."

"Don't tell Simon what you're doing," he said.

After training camp ended, Bruyneel drove to his home in Spain in the
US Postal car O'Reilly had used to get to the Pyrenees. To make the
journey to Piles, she went to Beziers and hired a car on her US Postal
credit card. "At the Citroen garage in Beziers, I got a navy blue
Xsara. I wondered whether Johan deliberately took the team car so I
would have to get the rental car, part of me thought that. He knew the
purpose of the trip and I wondered if he deliberately wanted me in a
hired car because an unmarked car was less likely to be stopped by
customs than a car belonging to a professional cycling team? It was
Friday afternoon when I left and travelling by the autoroute, it took
about five hours to get to Piles."

While down at the team's Spanish headquarters, O'Reilly organised the
trucks for forthcoming races. It was a pain but she liked doing it
with Ryszard Kielpinski, the team's Polish soigneur, because they
worked well together. They restocked the riders' clothing, replaced
the food supplies, made a shopping list of what was needed and then
cleaned the inside of the trucks, which always took forever. "This was
Saturday afternoon and while we were doing the trucks, Johan Bruyneel
showed up. I was standing on the downhill entrance to the garage of
Geoff Brown's house when Johan discreetly slipped a bottle of pills
into my hand. He handed it to me like this, the bottle concealed in
the palm of his hand, he just moved alongside of me and I took it
without anyone seeing. Johan would have been concerned about Louise
Donald, another staff member, being there because she talked a lot.

"I remember Johan was very pleasant and I thought I must be doing him
a big favour for him to behave like this. I didn't ask Lance what I
would be carrying because I didn't want to know. But I did know. If
this was a legal product, we would have been able to buy it in France.
Of course I was doing something wrong, otherwise why would Lance have
asked me not to tell Simon? And Johan was just being too nice.
Whatever was in that bottle, it wasn't paracetamol. The bottle
containing the pills was no taller than three or four inches and it
was round. In many ways like a normal bottle of pills that you'd get
from the doctor with any prescription. You could see the white tablets
inside the brown plastic; there were maybe 24 tablets inside. I went
into the house and put the bottle safely in my toilet bag.'

After Sunday lunch, O'Reilly set off on their long journey back to
France. "It was dark by the time I reached the Spanish customs
checkpoint on the border. Because it was Sunday evening, there was a
queue of cars at the checkpoint, the only time I had seen that. I
couldn't believe it and it was the last thing I needed. Sitting in
line, I was nervous. I told myself the rental car was not likely to be
searched but what if it was? What if I got stopped and was caught? I
was sick in the stomach during the wait.

"I wondered how I would react if they searched the car. I decided that
if I was allowed just one phone call; it would be to Thom Weisel, the
team's overall boss. He would know some good lawyers and he would not
hang me out to dry. I was never going to do a Willy Voet and say they
were for my own personal use. No way. Sitting in the car at that
moment, it dawned on me that I had gone a bridge too far in agreeing
to do this for Lance. I should not have got involved. Should have said
no. I wondered how and why so many other soigneurs could do this on a
regular basis. ‘Mad,' I thought, ‘they are absolutely mad.' Glorified
drug smugglers: that's all they are. For one weekend, that is what I
was. The drama ended when I was waved through and I sighed with relief
as I drove into France. Thank God, I had got away with it."

O'Reilly stayed at Lillistone's apartment in Valreas Plage on Sunday
night and agreed to meet Armstrong in the car park of a McDonalds
fast-food restaurant on the outskirts of Nice the following morning.
The rendezvous was timed for 11.30 but it was almost midday when she
got there. Armstrong normally didn't like being kept waiting and en
route O'Reilly telephoned with her apology. "I said ‘look, I'm sorry,
I'm running late'. He said ‘no, no, don't worry, it's alright.' That
was untypical of him. Again, the thought struck me: ‘this must be an
important little bottle'.

"Arriving into the McDonalds' car park, I pulled in to the right of
Lance's navy blue Passat estate. Lance got out, came over to my car
and I handed over the bottle. It was all over in a few seconds."

The trip to Spain was never again mentioned.

At the beginning of that year, 1999, O'Reilly was made head soigneur
(italics) in the US Postal team and though that brought with it
logistical headaches, she continued to enjoy working closely with
Armstrong. From their first meeting at the beginning of the previous
season she and he hit it off well. Maybe it was the seriousness with
which she went about her work that he admired, or her penchant for
saying what was on her mind. He would also have enjoyed her lack of
preciousness, her ability to mix in the company of males and hold her
own. And she was a very good massage therapist, by far the best on the
team. None of the other riders were surprised the leader wanted his
massage from O'Reilly. He showed his regard for her and mechanic
Julien de Vriese by presenting each with a rolex watch at the end of
the 1999 Tour de France. O'Reilly was torn between her liking for
Armstrong and her misgivings about the environment in which she
worked. She believed doping was part of cycling's culture and that
Armstrong was part of that world.

Little things. She remembers a day on the Criterium du Dauphine
Libere, three weeks before the start of the 1999 Tour. "One evening
during the race I was talking to Lance and he told me his haematocrit
level was 41 that day. I wasn't thinking and I just said, ‘that's
terrible, 41, what are you going to do?' Everyone in cycling knew you
couldn't win with a haematocrit of 41. He just looked up at me and
said ‘Emma, you know what I am going to do! What everybody does.'
And I went ‘oh God, yeah.' It was like, how could I be so stupid to
ask. I made a note of that in the diary that I kept: ‘L was 41 today
and when I asked him what he was about to do, he just laughed and said
‘you know, what everybody does'."

The best soigneur (italics) tends to the athlete's psychological needs
as much as his physical requirements, makes him laugh when he needs to
laugh, offers re-assurance in moments of doubt and senses when it is
better to be silent. O'Reilly and Armstrong were a good team. In an
environment where others tended to genuflect before Sir Lancelot, she
treated him as a human being. And in his way, he came to depend upon
her.

The 1999 Tour de France began on Saturday, July 3. The day before the
start the riders reported for the Tour's obligatory medical test and a
rider as experienced as Armstrong knew in advance that when he
stripped to the waste to have his lung capacity measured,
photographers would be present. On this day, that presented a problem.
"Lance" recalls O'Reilly, "asked me to go through my make up to see if
I had anything that would cover up the bruise mark caused by the use
of syringes on his arm, his right arm if I remember correctly. Part of
his logic was he didn't want people seeing the mark and getting a
whiff of something they would then go after. I said ‘Lance, you need
something stronger than I've got'. It was the first time anyone had
ever asked me for anything like that. Knowing my own make-up wouldn't
be any good, I went to a shop and got concealer type stuff to see if
it would do. He put it on and we laughed because I didn't think it did
a very job."

Cyclists get vitamin injections and glucose drips all the time. Why
should Armstrong have gone to such pains to cover syringe marks on his
arm? What kind of products are injected into that area high up on the
outside of the arm? Three experts offer their opinions. Jean-Pierre de
Mondenard has worked as a trauma consultant, was a doctor on the Tour
de France (1973 to 1975) and worked for ten years in a children's
diabetes centre. He is also an expert on doping. "A needle injected
into the external side of the upper arm is very specific. We're
talking about either a vaccine, or EPO or growth hormone," he said.
"Everything that's authorised, vitamins, iron, recuperation products,
are given into the buttock. Neither can it be a glucose drip because
that is done at the intersection of the elbow on the inside of the
arm. The upper arm only allows a shallow injection, so the small
insulin needles are used. And it's easier to bruise."

For the recently retired French racer Jerome Chiotti, a one-time world
mountainbike champion who wrote a book about doping, there is no
mystery about injections into the upper arm: "It's either growth
hormone, or EPO, or corticoids," he affirms. "Personally, although
everyone has their preferences, I used to inject EPO into the fold of
my stomach or into my upper thigh. For me, it's 99% ‘cortico' there
(the upper arm)."

Could it not be recuperation products? "No, no," he interrupts,
"there is no reason why you'd put them in your arm. Iron and vitamins
are injected intravenously or intramuscularly into the buttock. To do
it right the muscle has got to be hyper-relaxed and consistent. The
arm is not appropriate and in any case it would be painful. Glucose
and other drips are done intravenously on the inside of the elbow."

Willy Voet, the former Festina soigneur (italics) has 20 years of
doping experience. "In the upper arm, we inject growth hormone, EPO,
corticoids or amphetamines," he explained. "That is, everything that's
not 'oily'. The other products, iron and vitamins for example, we
inject into the buttock, a place where there's enough 'meat'. The
injections into the arm are subcutaneous. We use small needles like
insulin (needles).


------------line break---------line break--------line break--------


Before the 1999 Tour de France the International Cycling Union (UCI)
announced it would be testing for the banned substances,
corticosteroids. These drugs had long been banned but they were not
previously detectable and consequently were widely abused in
professional cycling. After his prologue victory at Le Puy du Fou, the
same theme park in the Vendee that welcomed him to his first Tour six
years before, Armstrong successfully defended his yellow jersey on the
first stage from Montaigu to Challans. As raceleader, he was obliged
to report to doping control. It was July 4, Independence Day back in
his home country and it was also the day Lance Armstrong tested
positive for drugs. Traces of the corticosteroid triamcinolone were
found in his urine sample.

It should have been a straightforward case. According to the UCI's
list of banned substances, the use of corticosteroids were controlled
as follows:

Figure 111 Classes of drugs subject to certain restrictions

C: The use of corticosteroids is prohibited, except when used for
topical application (auricular, opthalmological or dermatological),
inhalations (asthma and
allergic rhinitis) and local or intra-articular injections. Such forms
of utilisation are to be proved by the rider with a medical
prescription.

On Armstrong's doping form at Challans, the word ‘neant' (none) was
written in alongside the column marked ‘Medicament pris' (medicines
taken). He had no medical prescription. This test took place at five
o'clock on that Sunday evening and over two weeks would pass before
the story of Armstrong's positive test was leaked. During that time
there were rumours of riders testing positive for corticosteroids but
nothing more. On July 19, a rest day on the Tour, Armstrong gave a
press conference during which he said he never took corticosteroids
and didn't have medical dispensation to use any banned products. This
was a repetition of answers he gave to Pierre Ballester in a L'Equipe
interview on July 8. That evening, July 19, a journalist from Le Monde
newspaper received a tip off that Armstrong had tested positive
following his July 4 test. Le Monde's writers on the race tried to
have the story confirmed by the International Cycling Union president
Hein Verbruggen and the head of its medical commission, Leon
Schattenberg. They failed to get Schattenberg who did not respond to
messages left on his mobile telephone while Verbruggen said he had not
been advised about the case.

Hearing some of the talk within the team, Emma O'Reilly picked up on
the word that Le Monde were planning to run a story saying Armstrong
tested positive. During the rest day in south west France, many US
Postal people were convinced the story was about to break. The next
day the race resumed with a stage through the Pyrenees before
finishing at the ski-station in Piau Engaly. By then Armstrong was
back in the yellow jersey he had first won at Le Puy du Fou but his
grip on the race was now vice-like. He travelled by helicopter from
the summit finish that evening, flying high over the snaking line of
congested traffic, and arriving at the team hotel long before his
team-mates. O'Reilly was part of that barely moving caravan as it
inched its way down the mountain but was consoled by the thought of a
lighter workload that evening.

"One of my three, Jonathan Vaughters, had already crashed out of the
race and so I was down to just Lance and Kevin Livingston. Because he
went by helicopter Lance would have arrived at the hotel about two
hours before we got there and I presumed he would have gotten one of
the other soigneurs to give him massage. He needed to eat and get as
much rest as he could. And I thought ‘well, I'll have just Kevin this
evening, won't be too bad.' And then when I got to the hotel, he was
there, just sitting on his bed, waiting for me. I thought that was
kind of cute."

According to O'Reilly, the team's response to the imminent Le Monde
story was agreed during the delayed massage she gave to Armstrong that
evening.

"At one stage two team officials were in the room. So they were all
talking, ‘what are we going to do, what are we going to do? Let's keep
this quiet, let's stick together, let's not panic, let's all leave
here with the same story.' There was a real sense that the **** was
about to hit the fan and they had to come up with an explanation. And
that's what came out of their discussion: saddle sore, a corticoidal
cream and a back-dated medical prescription to follow. I'd known about
the corticoid earlier because Lance had told me. He said he had taken
a corticoid before or during the Route du Sud the previous month and
because he passed his test there, he presumed he would all right in
the Tour de France. He thought it was fully out of his system but for
some reason, it showed up. I don't remember any talk of Lance having
saddle sore at the start of the Tour but, anyway, he categorically
told me it wasn't the cream. Later that night there was a mad scramble
to get Luis (Del Moral, the team doctor), to write the medical
prescription."

The following day the UCI issued a communique stating Armstrong used
the ointment Cemalyt, which contains the corticosteroid triamcinolone,
to treat a skin allergy. The UCI went on to say it had seen the
medical prescription for this ointment. That was a strange thing for
the governing body to say as doping rules dictate that the rider lists
those products for which he has medical dispensation on his doping
form. The UCI did not say if Armstrong had declared his use of Cemalyt
on his doping form and neither did it say when it had been shown his
medical prescription for the product. Towards the end of its
statement, the UCI warned journalists about jumping to conclusions in
doping cases:

"We should like to ask all press representatives to be aware of the
complexity of issues and the related aspects of the rules and the law
before producing their publications. This will allow considerations of
a rather superficial, not to say unfounded nature to be avoided."

At a press conference a few days later, Armstrong went on the attack
against Le Monde, calling it "the gutter press". One of the Le Monde
journalists asked Armstrong why he had twice stated he had no medical
exemptions for banned products when he was now claiming he had. To
which Armstrong replied: "Mr. Le Monde are you calling me a liar or a
doper?" The journalist had not called Armstrong a liar, or a doper,
he had asked a legitimate question. Either Armstrong lied in two
earlier interviews or his team backdated a medical prescription. Which
was it? In a room full of journalists, the questioning journalist
from Le Monde was on his own. Not one colleague dared to ask a follow
up question.

After the others left the massage room on that Tuesday night,
Armstrong spoke with O'Reilly. "Now Emma," he said ruefully, "you know
enough to bring me down": so remarkable an observation that O'Reilly
wrote it into her diary for Tuesday, July 20.

--------line break--------line break--------line break---------

Emma O'Reilly has read every line of the story to which she has been
an important contributor. There were feelings of guilt. She asked
herself if the bad things she saw during her years in the team would
have been better left untold. Were there kids out there whose
innocence would be destroyed by her revelations? Did she have the
right to do that? It so happened that over the weekend she considered
these questions, the Italian cyclist Marco Pantani passed away.
Pantani died a lonely death in a cheap hotel, with only his
anti-depressive tablets for company. Pantani was 34. Two days before
Johan Sermon, a 21-year-old Belgian rider with the Daiken team, died
in his sleep. Premature and unexplained deaths continue to happen in
cycling. O'Reilly harbours no illusions about the effect of her
honesty. "I think professional cycling has gone too far down for it to
change. But, in time, it will implode." What misgivings she has about
betraying trust, however pessimistic she is about cycling's ability to
change, she knows the sport has been destroyed as much by the silence
of good people as the deeds of the dishonest.

And still she agonises about whether she was right to talk: her mind a
battleground for conflicting thoughts. She had a lot of good times
with US Postal and even though there isn't much contact now, there are
many people she remembers with fondness. Will they feel she has
betrayed their trust? Then one thought separates from the others and
stands before her as more relevant than all the others. She writes it
down and says she would like it included as the conclusion to her
testimony. "When Johan Bruyneel and Lance are in a sport and in a team
that tolerates the use of performance-enhancing drugs, then make out
they are cleaner than the driven show, discrediting those who don't
toe their line; well, you can't get away with that forever, can you?"





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  #2  
Old October 10th 04, 04:15 AM
Fergie
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When Stephen Swart (a fellow Kiwi) came out and made accusations about Lance
and EPO I was quite happy to believe him. Then they had an interview with
Stephen on the Kiwi version of 60 minutes where he was interviewed over the
allegations. Turns out he was in a team meeting where the Motorola riders
(Lance was in this meeting) agreed that they were not competitive in Europe
and that they would have to resort to drug taking to make the grade. Stephen
admitted to taking a course of EPO himself.

The important thing is that he never saw Lance take EPO. He just suspects.
Sort of dimmed my view of Stephen and affects his credibility.

Fergie


  #3  
Old October 10th 04, 04:59 AM
antoineg
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Fergie Wrote:
When Stephen Swart (a fellow Kiwi) came out and made accusations about
Lance
and EPO I was quite happy to believe him. Then they had an interview
with
Stephen on the Kiwi version of 60 minutes where he was interviewed over
the
allegations. Turns out he was in a team meeting where the Motorola
riders
(Lance was in this meeting) agreed that they were not competitive in
Europe
and that they would have to resort to drug taking to make the grade.
Stephen
admitted to taking a course of EPO himself.

The important thing is that he never saw Lance take EPO. He just
suspects.
Sort of dimmed my view of Stephen and affects his credibility.

Fergie


Why does this affect his credibility? It kind of sets up a catch-22:

The new guys into the sport who immediately get hit with the drug
culture have credibility, because they have not yet used. They get
out, and if they go public, the doping apologists will say "what do
they know about pro cycling? They were in it for a month and washed
out."

The older guys, who have been pressured to dope just to stay
competitive in their profession, come forward and the response from the
doping apologists is "They used -- that affects their credibility."

Scientists use hypotheses to set up a situation where they can test
their observations against the hypothesis and then try to confirm or
deny their hypothesis. I think that if your hypothesis is that "most
pro cyclists dope," your real-world observations will start to look a
lot more consistent with each other.


--
antoineg

  #4  
Old October 10th 04, 05:31 AM
Brenton James
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In regards to the discussions recalled between ORielly and Armstrong - If
they never actually happened, is there any legal action that Armstrong could
take?

"'Dis Guy" wrote in message
m...
Subject: Excerpt from LA CONFIDENTIAL - The Secrets of Lance Armstrong



 




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