Armstrong testimony renews feud

- Brent Schrotenbo­er @Schrotenbo­er USA TODAY Sports

Lance Armstrong has started another war of words with two of his most bitter enemies, but this time his words are under oath.

And Frankie and Betsy Andreu are again fighting back, calling Armstrong a pathologic­al liar who is still attacking them even after saying he was sorry for what he did.

Armstrong recently testified about Frankie Andreu, his former cycling teammate, “(He) doped for the majority of his career. ... That is absolutely the truth.”

A transcript of that testimony was revealed Monday in court documents filed by the federal government. In response, Frankie Andreu and wife Betsy fired back at Armstrong when contacted by USA TODAY Sports.

“Completely false,” Frankie Andreu said Monday of Armstrong ’s testimony.

Frankie Andreu admitted in 2006 to a limited amount of doping during his career but said Monday he raced clean for a long time. He said Armstrong was trying to smear him because of “everything that has happened.”

“I don’t know what drives Lance’s obsession with us,” Betsy Andreu said Monday. “Maybe it’s because the truth we told for so many years — the truth that he fought so hard to suppress — has been shown to be fact. His attempts at revisionis­t history is just a continuati­on of his pattern of deception.”

Frankie Andreu retired in 2000 after a 12-year pro career.

“A lot of riders made bad choices in that time,” Frankie Andreu said Monday. “I raced for a long time completely clean. And then even in the window when I was taking EPO it wasn’t all the time. It was off and on. It was still wrong. I realized that, and I know that.”

The Andreus once were Armstrong ’s friends but have become one of the biggest sores in his saddle. In 2005, they testified in a different case that they overheard Armstrong admit to doping in 1996 when he was asked about it by a doctor at a hospital room in Indiana.

Back then, Armstrong was getting treated for cancer. But he went on to win the Tour de France seven consecutiv­e times, all the while saying he never doped. He even vilified those who suggested otherwise, especially the Andreus, whose testimony about the hospital room turned out to be one of the first big cracks in his mythic story.

It wasn’t until January 2013 that Armstrong finally admitted he was lying all along. And now the federal government is suing him for fraud in a case that could cost him $100 million.

Armstrong, 44, recently testified in a pretrial deposition as part of that case and was asked if he owed an apology to Frankie Andreu.

“Well, I have apologized to Frankie,” Armstrong replied. “Frankie was the first person that I apologized to. But what I said on Twitter was true. We know that to be true. I didn’t — I didn’t — at this point in time, there’s no more lies here. That what I said on there, if I — if I said that Frankie doped for the majority of his career, that — that is absolutely the truth.”

Armstrong ’s fall from grace ended up vindicatin­g the Andreus. But even during his confession in 2013, Armstrong wouldn’t talk about the alleged hospital room confession in 1996. Either it didn’t happen, or he didn’t remember it. Or perhaps it was too sore of a subject.

“We don’t want his apology anymore,” Betsy Andreu said Monday. “Just stop lying about us. ... Who you going to believe: a pathologic­al liar or people who have been telling the truth for well over a decade?”

Armstrong testified that his previous behavior was dishonorab­le and said he was a changed man. He said he had traveled the globe to apologize to others.

 ?? 2000 PHOTO BY PATRICK KOVARIK, AFP/GETTY IMAGES ?? Former cyclist Frankie Andreu, front, has admitted to doping but also says, “I raced for a long time completely clean.”
2000 PHOTO BY PATRICK KOVARIK, AFP/GETTY IMAGES Former cyclist Frankie Andreu, front, has admitted to doping but also says, “I raced for a long time completely clean.”

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