The Armstrong Investigation continues to march forward. There is a rather extensive “List of doping allegations against Lance Armstrong” over at wiki. Today’s latest below.
A woman who worked closely with Lance Armstrong during the years he won the Tour de France is expected to testify before a federal grand jury as early as next week in a criminal investigation of Armstrong and his associates.
Stephanie McIlvain, who served as Armstrong’s liaison to one of his sponsors, the sunglasses company Oakley, is expected to be asked if she knows anything about whether Armstrong doped, according to a person briefed on the investigation who spoke on condition of anonymity. She is also expected to be asked about the influence Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France winner, has over the people who work in cycling. www.nytimes.com.
In case you do not remember the name Stephanie McIlvain, she is one of the people who alleged to have witnesses Armstrong’s “confession” to drug use to his physicians while undergoing treatment for cancer. (NPR piece on the subject here: www.npr.org.)
[McIlvain] testified about Armstrong in a 2005 civil lawsuit. Armstrong and his former team owner, Tailwind Sports, brought that case against SCA Promotions, an insurance company that was seeking to withhold a $5 million bonus from Armstrong because of doping allegations against him.
In the SCA case, which was settled in Armstrong’s favor, McIlvain was questioned about a time in 1996 when she and others close to Armstrong were visiting him in a hospital during his battle with testicular cancer. Frankie Andreu — a former teammate and close friend on the United States Postal Service team — and his wife, Betsy, testified that they had overheard a conversation that day between Armstrong and a doctor in which Armstrong admitted to using steroids, testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and EPO. The Andreus are cooperating with the federal investigation.
McIlvain testified during depositions in the SCA case that she did not hear Armstrong admit to drug use. Id.
What this woman will say this time ’round, I confess I haven’t a clue. But she is, once again, being dragged in to provide testimony regarding the same alleged confession from back in ’96. This last quote will explain the title I choose for this post.
Prosecutors are expected to focus on one particular piece of evidence when questioning McIlvain before the grand jury, according to the person briefed on the case. It is a tape recording of a phone conversation between McIlvain and the three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond; they also used to work together.
The taped conversation was among the reams of records that SCA Promotions turned over to federal prosecutors in July.
LeMond, a longtime nemesis of Armstrong, has publicly stated that he believes Armstrong used banned performance-enhancing drugs. In the taped conversation from 2004, McIlvain appears to contradict her sworn testimony and Armstrong’s in the SCA case. LeMond asks McIlvain if she would tell the truth about what she heard in the hospital room if a lawsuit between LeMond and Armstrong ever arose.
“I’m not going to lie,” McIlvain is heard saying on the recording. “You know I was in that room. I heard it.”
She later adds: “If I lie, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. You know, because I, too, know quite a bit because Lance and I were close, you know. But I definitely won’t lie about that because it’s public knowledge. A lot of people know about it, you know.”
McIlvain is also heard on the tape speaking about the power Armstrong had over the people who worked with him and for him.
“For someone to have that much influence on people is scary,” she said, adding, “Well, the whole thing of it is, Greg, is there is so many people protecting him that it is just sickening, you know.” Id.
She’s up against it. We’ll see what happens.by