And so, it would seem, are the majority of cyclists on steroids and other such drugs, if the testimony of ex-cycling trainer Willy Voet has any merit. This fact makes Armstrong's denial all that more implausible, particularly with the testimony by his former friend Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, who both claimed they overheard Armstrong tell his doctor that he had used "steroids, testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and EPO." Armstrong's doctor, however, denies the claim.
The question needs to be asked, is Lance Armstrong a psycho - or a victim? As has been pointed out, he is a role model for athletes and cancer survivors the world over, and he is doing a tremendous disservice to both, if he is lying. How many impressionable kids became cyclists because of him, and then were possibly drawn into the seedy doping world, to risk side effects that could have been prevented if their hero had copped to his use, supposing that he is guilty? Moreover, when my own mother became fatally ill with ovarian cancer, she took strength in Armstrong's recovery, although I did caution her about my suspicions regarding his cancer cause. She was quite disappointed to hear that, and I could sense her becoming deflated in her battle. My beloved mother was very strong, so she turned her mind to other inspiration, but she finally succumbed to the cancer in 2004. In any event, it would behoove Armstrong to tell the truth, presuming he is not.
Perhaps Armstrong is telling the truth and is merely a victim of jealous and vicious gossip? Considering what trainer Voet has said about non-doping cyclists ending up at the "back of the pack," if Armstrong is being truthful, he would have to be hailed as one of the greatest athletes ever. If not, well, he would have to be considered a psycho.
P.S. I'm appending this entry to state that, after careful consideration of information provided by others (thank you, Steve P.), I do believe we must give Lance Armstrong the benefit of the doubt, especially since he's never tested positive for anything. He was apparently a world class athlete long before he began in cycling, when he was a youth who evidently could not have used drugs. As someone who has been on the receiving end of hideous, false rumors from very vicious and vindictive people, I can relate if Armstrong is being unfairly maligned.
P.P.S. The assertion in the following article that "one of the possible side effects of prolonged steroid use is testicular cancer" appears to be controversial, as other claim there has been no scientific evidence linking steroid use to testicular cancer:
"Fears about steroid use also include other cancers, heart enlargement, increased blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and musculoskeletal injuries. Upon closer examination, these too turn out to be overblown. Reports associating heart enlargement, or cardiomegaly, with steroid use often ignore the role of natural, nonthreatening enlargement brought on by prolonged physical exertion, not to mention the effects of alcohol abuse. The relationship is unclear at best. Evidence supporting a link between steroids and ligament and tendon damage is weak, since steroid-related injuries are virtually indistinguishable from those occurring normally. And blood pressure problems, according to Yesalis, have been exaggerated. There is some associative evidence that steroid use can increase the risk of prostate cancer, but this link has yet to be borne out in a laboratory setting. No studies of any kind link the use of anabolics to testicular cancer."
Source: Pumped Up Hysteria
The truth is out there - Cycling - Yahoo! Sports
E.M. Swift, SI.com
Is the truth finally catching up with Lance Armstrong, and is this one race the seven-time Tour de France champion may not be able to win?
In Tuesday's New York Times, two of Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammates admitted to having used EPO, an illegal performance-enhancing drug, at some point in 1999, the first year Armstrong won the Tour de France. While neither said they saw Armstrong do the same, the implication was that the drug use was common knowledge within the team. 'The environment was certainly one of, to be accepted, you had to use doping products,' said one of Armstrong's teammates, who requested anonymity, fearing reprisals from the notoriously vindictive Armstrong, who still wields considerable power in cycling.
The other teammate was 39-year-old Frankie Andreu, a domestique who competed professionally for 12 years and was once Armstrong's close friend and roommate. He's now a motivational speaker and real-estate dealer in Dearborn, Mich. He said he only used EPO 'for a couple of races' and was speaking out in hopes of cleaning up his tainted sport.
More interesting -- to me, anyway -- was the testimony the Times uncovered that Andreu and his wife, Betsy, gave last fall during a lawsuit between Armstrong and SCA Promotions. The company had withheld a $5 million bonus it owed Armstrong after he won the '04 Tour because of doping allegations.
The suit was eventually settled out of court in Armstrong's favor, but in their sworn testimony the Andreus said that when they visited Armstrong in the hospital after he'd been diagnosed with testicular cancer, they'd heard him tell his oncologists that he'd used 'steroids, testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and EPO.' Their testimony was disputed by the doctor who administered Armstrong's chemotherapy at Indiana University Medical Center. In the same trial, Armstrong testified that his doctors never asked him if he'd used performance-enhancing drugs, and that he'd never used those substances.
Which testimony is more credible? The Andreus' or Armstrong's? Ask yourself which party had the most to gain by lying. And why is that particular testimony significant? Because one of the possible side effects of prolonged steroid use is testicular cancer. It's impossible to prove, but if what the Andreus testified to under oath is true, than Lance Armstrong, role model and hero to so many cancer survivors, may very well have helped bring about his own cancer through his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Young athletes tempted to go down that road need to know if that's the case."