Betsy Andreu, the wife of former Lance Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu, has appeared on more television programs than I can count these last couple of days, answering questions about Sir Dick-A-Lot and his interview with Oprah Winfrey. This couple suffered the ire of Armstrong for many years, and now it's their time to shout from the rooftops that they have been vindicated at last.
She began on Anderson Cooper's AC360 program with some seriously righteous indignation. The major beef with Armstrong seems to be that he refuses to cop to the 1996 Indiana University hospital room admission to an unknown doctor during his cancer treatment when, while Betsy and Frankie, among others, overheard Armstrong rattle off the pharmaceutical litany of PED's he was gorging on up until that point in his now-ignominious career. Armstrong has continuously denied this event, and Stephanie McIlvain, then a representative of Oakley sunglasses, one of Armstrong's major personal sponsors, lied under oath when questioned about the admission.
McIlvain was also recorded during a phone conversation with Greg Lemond stating that if she were asked to testify in court, she would tell the truth about Armstrong's hospital confession. Initially, she was portrayed as a struggling single mother who could not afford to piss off one of her company's major endorsers because she needed the medical benefits for her sick son. Turns out she was just an opportunistic liar who, despite having a boyfriend higher up in the company, screwed Lance while she was dating her boyfriend. Talk about a class act.
Ever since then, Armstrong has done his evil and conniving best to paint Betsy as a jealous, shrill harpy with an ax to grind. Armstrong has gotten Frankie fired from more jobs than an ex-con out on work release. Yet the Andreus both stood their ground and never wavered from the initial testimony they gave at Armstrong's SCA deposition in 2005-06. They've been painted as liars until practically the other day, and in Armstrong's world, everyone who accused him of taking PED's was lying except for him.
Despite living in the type of world that enabled a bully and serial liar like Lance Armstrong to attain an unprecedented of amount of wealth and international fame in relation to any other professional cyclist who ever lived. Despite the pressures, Betsy never relented from the truth, and she and her husband stand as beacons of integrity and courage, qualities that Armstrong whored for his own benefit until he had no choice but to tell the world at least a portion of the truth.
We have Betsy Andreu to thank for that.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Knowing Armstrong's modus operandi, this is going to be an interview with not much value to haters such as myself outside the sensational fluff piece many are expecting. The only interview that will matter going forward will be with Travis Tygart of the US Anti-Doping Agency. And this will happen when he realizes that Tygart doesn't give a flying fuck about any vague, half-assed apologies like the one he laid on the employees at the Lance Armstrong Foundation the other day, where he is as welcome as homeless bum at the doors of the Royal Palace.
Lance Armstrong initially met with Travis Tygart a few months ago, and the meeting was as contentious as one would expect from someone who is about as unapologetic over what he did as any fervent, die-hard Nazi. He had the audacity to tell Tygart to his face that HE was in charge of his redemption story, not Tygart. To which Tygart replied, "that's bullshit". Armstrong met with Tygart to discuss the possibility of having his lifetime ban reduced in exchange for testimony.
Sometime during or after this meeting, he has intimated that he would be willing to testify against the people who made the whole doping charade possible, the aiders and abettors higher up the food chain than he. Armstrong also said he would not testify against any ex-teammates, which really isn't a noble stance to take, seeing as so many of them have already testified to their own drug use while riding for US Postal/Discovery/Astana.
The people that need to go down are as follows-
-Team Director Johan Bruyneel, who is in the process of writing a tell-all book fll of more bullshit than a military latrine.
-Dr. Michele Ferrari, the infamous doping doctor that, despite the sanctions and accusations levied against him over the years, has continued with brazen impunity to poison the sport with his shenanigans and who has bigger problems in his home country of Italy, where a Federal investigation that include rampant international PED pedaling and money international money laundering that spans from Switzerland all the way to fucking Argentina of all places.
-Spanish doctor Luis del Moral, who in cahoots with Bruyneel and Ferrari, helped administer the blood doping program to the teams Armstrong rode for. Yes, he has already been given a lifetime ban by the USADA, but he is a key player in terms of the actual details of the whole drug program.
-José "Pepe" Martí, former cycling trainer and alleged bagman for the doping ring. He stupidly has decided, along with Bruyneel, to go to arbitration despite the mountains of evidence against them both.
-Hein Verbruggen, former head of the UCI during the Lance Armstrong Reign of Terror at the Tour de France. Hein was at the center of this whole shitstorm, and is alleged to have facilitated the drug ring by protecting Armstrong from positive drug tests, setting up a meeting with the Swiss lab that found Armstrong positive for EPO during the 2001 Tour de Swisse so the lab workers could explain to both Bruyneel and Armstrong how the test worked so they could beat it, and colluding to set up a system whereby Armstrong and his teammates were warned ahead of time about surprise out-of-competition doping controls.
-Pat McQuaid, current head of the UCI, for accepting money from Armstrong in the guise of a donation for a testing machine to help the fight against doping, allowing Armstrong and his cronies to continue doping unabated during his "Cameback 2.0", and for making a mockery of the biological passport when he disallowed a list of potential drug cheats in the peloton in the beginning of 2009 because two Astana teammates were on it, American Levi Leipheimer and German Andreas Kloden. "Fat" Pat also wrested, at the behest of Armstrong doping controls from the AFLD so they would not interfere with his teams' doping escapades at the Tour. And just for being an overall asshole by defending Armstrong to the bitter end and then throwing him under the bus when he received a copy of the USADA report. Class act all the way, is McQuaid.
The many accusations of personal attacks and vendettas are all a thing of the past. All the people who were steamrolled by the Lance Armstrong Juggernaut, people who've had their livelihoods threatened and destroyed, will never get their lives back. Apologies to these people will never be enough. The Western Judeo-Christian ethic of forgiveness has been seriously stretched beyond all recognition with Armstrong's cheating, lying, and vindictiveness. The list seems too long to list here, but when one takes into account the people he's bullied into near-oblivion, one individual at a time, there is no forgiveness here.
There are things people maliciously do to others that are so outrageous, so beyond the pale that forgiveness seems trite. Armstrong does not deserve forgiveness, not from the people he's ruined, not from the cancer sufferers and survivors who believed his bullshit Lazarus tale of coming back from the dead to become the most dominant Tour rider the world has ever seen.
Whatever he tells Oprah, no doubt it's going to be nothing but self-pitying, self-serving drivel. I hope she sits there looking at him like this-
Armstrong, through his lawyers, offered to pay 5 million dollars as an effort to settle the Qui Tam case Floyd Landis filed against him. The Department of Justice has until today to join the case, which looks to recoup the $40 million dollars the US Postal Service gave to sponsor Lance Armstrong's cycling team during the five years they were involved in professional cycling. That offer has been rejected. Armstrong has made attempts to reach out and apologize to some of the people he's tried to destroy over the years. According to sources, Floyd Landis was one of them, and to his credit Landis has so far given him the gasface, refusing to take his calls.
He has also been stripped of his Olympic bronze medal from 2000. The IOC (International Olympic Committee) sent Armstrong a letter asking he return the medal to the US Olympic Committee. This pretty much leaves him with nothing from his sporting past from 1998 onward. Amaury Sports, which owns the Tour de France, has also made noise about wanting to collect all the prize money he was given for his seven Tour wins. Along with the SCA case, the Federal whistle blower case and the Sunday Times suit, there is some serious liability here that will run into the millions.
And don't believe the crap about Lance being "worth" 125 million dollars. If he had this type of cash, whether it be liquid, tied up in investments or a combination thereof, he would not have taken out an eight million dollar line of credit on his Austin, Texas home. Why owe the bank so much interest if he had as much cash as has been reported? He's got a gang of lawyers who are charging him thousands of dollars an hour, and he's been bleeding money like a sieve for quite a while now, and it will only get worse.
I thought the previous blog post on Armstrong was going to be my last. But this is far from over, and it seems as if it hasn't even reached halftime. whatever confessions will only be the beginning of more sordid tales that will become public because he has absolutely no choice but to give up all the information he has against himself and everyone else, to destroy once and for all the monumental fraud that has been his career from A to V, the "V" standing for Hein Verbruggen.
Stay tuned. there will be more.