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Translated excerpts from LA Confidentiel
"LA Confidentiel" - a smear campaign, or is there truth there?
LA Confidentiel is a controversial book, published in 2003, and co-authored by a long-time critic of Lance Armstrong, David Walsh as well as long time L'Equipe reporter Pierre Ballester. The authors present a view of Lance's life and his career as a professional cyclist that is at odds with the carefully crafted image and growing Armstrong "myth"
Originally intended to be published in both French and English, the book has only made to the market in French, as Armstrong's legal team prevented the english version from being published. You can see why they wanted it this way, you need to be fluent in French to see what the fuss is all about...would have created quite a stir if Americans had access to the same information the French did. You can order it here:
Order LA Confidentiel from amazon.fr
Emma O'Reilly - her accountUnless Emma O'Reilly is flat-out lying (and she seems to be both sympathetic and sincere in the excerpts) she makes some pretty specific claims, tied to places and dates, and was very specific detail about the context. However, one of the authors of the new book, David Walsh, very much has an ax to grind with Lance, and is far from impartial in his viewpoint.
Greg Lemond - his accountThe conversation with Greg Lemond is a bit more disturbing. I don't know if you remember the fight Lance and Greg got into when the Dr. Ferrari relationship was made publicin 2001 days before the start of the Tour (by David Walsh), but Lemond publicly said that he thought Lance was stupid to associate with Ferrari. Lance blew a gasket, called Lemond, and as far as the public was concerned, he and Lemond then "made up".
In the excerpts, the conversation plays out differently (the account provided by Lemond's wife Kathy, who was sitting in the car next to Greg when the call came in). Lance accuses Lemond of using EPO, saying "everyone takes EPO" and implies that his win in 1999 wouldn't have been possible without it. He threatens Lemond with accusing him of using EPO to get his win in 1989. It's Greg's turn to blow a gasket (Lance apparently didn't know that EPO didn't really hit the market until 1990). In the l'express excerpt it says that Greg is prohibited from commenting about Lance by Trek, which is why Kathy is the one doing the talking.
Lance's own wordsAt a 2003 press conference prior to the Tour de France announcing the Discovery Channel deal Lance responded to a question about doping with a level of measure that was quite Clintonesque. He was asked something along the lines of "Lance, have you ever in your professional career used any form of performance enhancing products?" His answer was "We do not tolerate the use of performance enhancing products or doping here at USPS." Why not just NO?
While the evidence in LA Confidentiel is circumstantial, it seems to paint a consistent picture, and with people who have no advantage to gain by smearing Lance.
Latest page update: made by urbanninja
, Jun 13 2006, 6:17 PM EDT
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