Greg LeMond believes a federal probe into fellow Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong should not be taken lightly, and could even bring about the downfall of the world’s most famous cyclist.
“Up until now, he has achieved great things, if you consider he did it fairly, which I don’t believe,” LeMond said in an interview conducted in French with the Journal Du Dimanche newspaper. “For him, it’s the beginning of the end.”
Seven-time champion Armstrong is racing his final Tour campaign amid damaging accusations by former teammate Floyd Landis that their former team, US Postal, was involved in systematic doping practices.
A federal investigation into Landis’s claims has been launched and is being led by Jeff Novitzky, the same federal agent whose probe into the BALCO doping scandal brought about the downfall of athletics star Marion Jones.
Grand jury subpoenas were issued to potential witnesses in the probe this week in a move that demonstrates how seriously the authorities are taking allegations made by Landis.
LeMond, along with several of Armstrong’s former teammates, is one of several witnesses who has been issued a subpoena. He said he has “yet to decide” on whether he will go.
LeMond “has ‘yet to decide’ on whether he will go” testify before the federal grand jury?
subpoena: a writ issued by court authority to compel the attendance of a witness at a judicial proceeding; disobedience may be punishable as a contempt of court.
Elsewhere within the same article:
When confronted by the report on France 2 television after the 14th stage, Armstrong pointed the finger at LeMond and his victory on the race in 1989.
“We will have the opportunity to tell the truth to the authorities, and Greg LeMond will tell the truth about 1989 I hope,” said Armstrong, who is now 38th overall at 39:44 behind Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck.
“Because he, too, needs to tell the truth. I have nothing to hide.”
And while I’m no Lance fan, I also hope that LeMond tells the truth about his 1989 performance; especially with regards to those “iron” shots he received at the 1989 Giro d’Italia which helped his performance in the last week and into the Tour.
I’m convinced that LeMond, like his teammate Eddy Planckaert (who admitted to using EPO in the latter part of his career), was using EPO in 1989 (and possibly 1990), but of course, like LeMond against Armstrong, I have absolutely no evidence whatsoever.
Those “iron” shots that LeMond got … what were those really? Because iron shots don’t work that way; they don’t increase your power and endurance, especially not in a matter of days and hours, but hey … blood transfusions sure help. EPO helps. Testosterone helps.
People who who say that EPO wasn’t known until 1991 or 1992 can’t seem to answer these questions:
- If EPO wasn’t known until 1991, then how and why did it get banned as a doping agent in 1990?
- if EPO wasn’t known until 1991, then what caused the mysterious heart failure of several Dutch cyclists in the late 1980s (if it wasn’t extra thick blood due to EPO abuse)?
And when people come up with things statements like “EPO wasn’t banned in the late 1980s”, then I have to ask this:
- if a drug isn’t banned, does that mean that a rider taking it isn’t cheating? Pedro Delgado tested positive for a gout medication also used as masking agent for steroids in 1988, but that masking agent wasn’t yet banned by the UCI. So he wasn’t cheating, right?
- the 1984 Olympic cycling team wasn’t cheating when they got their blood transfusions, because blood packing wasn’t yet banned by the IOC or UCI?
I have no evidence LeMond doped because I wasn’t there, but just because there is no evidence doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
There is no definitive evidence that Armstrong doped either (although there’s a whole lot of circumstantial evidence), but that doesn’t mean he didn’t dope; in fact, I’m sure that he did, and I think it likely that there was an organized doping program within the USPS team.
I don’t have any evidence of that either. Neither does Greg LeMond. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.