Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Lance Armstrong had history of denying doping accusations

When Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey is broadcast Thursday and Friday, the seven-time Tour de France winner is expected to confess to having used performance-enhancing drugs. The confession comes after years of angry denials and lawsuits against his accusers. Here is a sample.

2004: The publication of L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong leads to a flurry of lawsuits. Armstrong sues the authors, the publisher and media that published excerpts. He also sues Emma O'Reilly, a U.S. Postal Service Team masseuse, who had said Armstrong used performance-enhancing substances during races in 1998 and 1999. The suits are dropped or settled before trial.

March 2005: Mike Anderson, a former Armstrong assistant, claims to have discovered a box of androstenone while cleaning a bathroom in Armstrong's apartment. Anderson said in a subsequent deposition, after both men sued each other, that he had no direct knowledge that his boss used prohibited drugs. An out-of-court settlement was reached and terms never were disclosed.

July 24, 2005: Armstrong wins a record seventh Tour de France title, taunting doubters with a podium speech: "I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles."

August 2005: After allegations of doping in the French sports daily L'Equipe, Armstrong responds: "Unfortunately, the witch hunt continues. (This) article is nothing short of tabloid journalism. (I have) never taken performance-enhancing drugs." On CNN's Larry King Live: "I have never doped, I can say it again, but I have said it for seven years — it doesn't help."

June 2006: French newspaper Le Monde reports claims by Betsy Andreu, the wife of former teammate and friend Frankie Andreu, that Armstrong admitted using performance-enhancing drugs after he underwent brain surgery while battling cancer in 1996. Armstrong issues an extensive statement vehemently denying the charges: "The allegations were rejected. It's over. We won. They lost. I was yet again completely vindicated."

April 2009: "This is just another example of the improper behavior by the French laboratory and the French anti-doping organizations. I am sorry that they are disappointed that all the tests were negative, but I do not use any prohibited drugs or substances." — Armstrong on being tested in France

In May 2010, after Floyd Landis had said he and Armstrong had both taken prohibited substances while teammates, Armstrong says, "Floyd lost his credibility a long time ago. . . . We have nothing to hide. We have nothing to run from. I think history speaks for itself here. He has no proof. It's just our word against theirs, and we like our word. We like where we stand.

"I'd remind everybody that this is a man that's been under oath several times and had a very different version," Armstrong said. "This is a man that wrote a book for profit that had a completely different version. This is somebody that took, some would say, close to $1 million from innocent people for his defense under a different premise. Now when it's all run out the story changes."

July 2010: "As long as I live, I will deny it. There was absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated. Absolutely not. One hundred percent. … I mean, I can't control what other riders do."

— At his final Tour de France, Armstrong denying that he doped or encouraged his teammates to do so.

May 2011: Former teammate Tyler Hamilton tells 60 Minutes Armstrong personally oversaw the team's doping programs. He says he saw Armstrong use EPO during the 1999 Tour de France and in preparation for the 2000 and 2001 tours.

Armstrong tweets: "20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case."

June 2012: The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency formally charges Armstrong, and he responds, "I have never doped, and, unlike many of my accusers, I have competed as an endurance athlete for 25 years with no spike in performance, passed more than 500 drug tests and never failed one.'' He then sues the USADA in federal court in July, claiming violation of due process rights.

Times researcher Natalie Watson compiled this report with information from the New York Daily News, CNN, Mail & Guardian (South Africa)Online, SB Nation, Sports Illustrated, the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Washington Post and the Dallas Morning News.

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