Biker Lance Armstrong still denies doping charges, even though 26 witnesses, including 11 of his teammates have testified against him in a recently released U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report.
According to the report, Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs and dodged drug test detection with blood transfusions.
The Armstrong myth was so lucrative that suppressing the truth required behind-the-scenes bullying to intimidate people into silence.
The NY Daily News reported that Armstrong was so powerful inside his sport that people feared for their livelihoods and reputations if they exposed him.
In 2001, three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond told the Sunday Times of London that he was “disappointed” with Armstrong for associating with Dr. Michele Ferrari, who was about to go on trial in Italy because for allegedly providing performance-enhancing drugs to athletes.
LeMond received calls from freinds who warned him not to further cross Armstrong. Also, LeMond’s wife Kathy said Armstrong’s offered to pay $300,000 to one of her husband’s former teammates to claim that he had seen LeMond using an oxygen-boosting drug.
Kathy LeMond said: “It shows how desperate Lance was, It is a huge example of what a bully Lance Armstrong is. He crosses lines no others will cross.”
Frankie Andreu testified in the USADA’s report against Armstrong in 2008. In response, his wife Betsy Andreu got some angry voicemails from Stephanie McIlvain, a close friend of Armstrong’s who worked for one of his sponsors, the Oakley eyewear company.
McIlvain said in the voicemails: “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.”
U.S. cyclist team masseur Emma O'Reilly testified to the USADA about Armstrong’s doping in 1998 and 1999. She resigned from her job in 2000.
In 2003, when she was paid to help with the book 'L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong.' . Armstrong sued O’Reilly for libel and attacked her credibility.
O’Reilly said in her affidavit: “Once my involvement in the (book) project became known, Lance wasted no time attacking me and my reputation. Lance also tried to discredit me by publicly referring to me as a prostitute and an alcoholic. The lawsuits against me were dropped or settled in 2006, but the damage Lance caused to my reputation still remains.”