April 02, 2005
Armstrong: 'not going to pay blackmail'
Lance Armstrong's lawyer has responded to charges made by a former personal assistant to the six-time Tour winner, calling them "blackmail or extortion money on something that's not true."
Mike Anderson's filing in the case is online (.pdf file), and offers a few surprises I haven't seen covered elsewhere.
Anderson claims Armstrong was still working actively with Dr. Michele Ferrari in the 2004 preseason, and that Ferrari accompanied Armstrong to the Canary Islands when Armstrong unexpectedly shifted training there soon after Anderson saw the box in the bathroom.
Anderson's discussion on doping occurred after Johan Museeuw tested positive. According to the filing, Armstrong's attitude toward Anderson changed when Anderson didn't reassure Armstrong that he was cool with Armstrong saying "Everyone does it," which Anderson took to mean that Armstrong was doping.
And you get a look at what it's like to ride with Lance:
The Guardian story is based on this story in the Austin American-Statesman (free reg. required), where Tim Herman says the assistant, Mike Anderson, "should have worn a ski mask" when he asked for $500,000. "It's precisely what they threatened to do, unless we paid them the money."
Anderson's lawyer countered, saying the $500k was a settlement proposal, not a demand.
Suzanne Halliburton, the Austin reporter, also interviewed a University of Texas professor, John Hoberman, who pooh-poohed the utility of androgens:
"It's not a drug you find turning up in the hotel rooms of professional cyclists," Hoberman said, referring to drug raids police have frequently conducted in Europe during big cycling events, especially the Giro d'Italia.
The banned drug of choice with cyclists is artificial erythropoietin, or EPO, which is used to increase the number of red blood cells carrying oxygen. Cyclists have used testosterone, a naturally-produced male hormone, to better recover during long stage races such as the 23-day Tour.
That, to me, is total crap. Obviously, strength is one component in racing; that's why riders lift weights. If you were going to use steroids, you would do so early in your training program, which is when Anderson claims he saw them. When Stuart Stevens used performance-enhancing drugs for a story in Outside, he said the steroids helped him recover faster, and kept him from feeling joint pain, both a big help on big-mile days.
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Can you fix the link to the pdf? It's 404 and I'd like to read it.
Posted by: fixedgear at Apr 2, 2005 7:08:13 AM
Seems so fishy to me. Anyone can claim anything, but the drug he picked to say Armstrong had is one that there's a test for. Steroid's aren't that hard to pick out.
I'm always suspicious when someone is asking for $500,000 and claiming someone took a drug, when the person they're claiming took it has been drug tested dozens of times.
The second I see something that's not an allegation, I'm all over it. But I've been held-up in court before by people claiming things that aren't true. It's really hard to argue a negative point.
Posted by: rocklandbike at Apr 2, 2005 4:13:09 PM
Where and how did you find the .pdf of the Anderson filing? That's a great find. Can you point to any other filings in the case, including Armstrong's most recent filing? Send me an email direct, if you don't mind. Thanks. By the way, your site is fantastic.
Posted by: Jeffrey A. Cross at Apr 2, 2005 6:54:54 PM
First off, Jeff Cross is correct. If Lance did take a substance to offset his low T levels from having only one testicle - he would not be using this stuff, metabolites would be in his system for months.
He would have used Androgel or another short acting form of human recumbant Testosterone - out of the system in only a few weeks.
The fact that this guy didn't say anything for months until his 'deal' didn't go through makes it worse than a joke. I say sue this idiot fool and make an example of him.
Posted by: Jeff at Apr 4, 2005 10:24:05 AM
I have always wondered about the use of Androgel or similar by Lance. Was he allowed to supplement his T levels as a medical necessity or not? Does one testicle really give 50% of your normal T levels?
Posted by: PJ at Jul 19, 2007 12:43:54 AM