Disgraced cycling icon Lance Armstrong might be prepared to take a lie detector test, his lawyer has suggested, as further damning evidence emerges of the intimidation and threats he used to cover up his alleged drug taking.
While Armstrong has refused to respond to the litany of charges against him his lawyer has raised the intriguing prospect of his client sitting a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
Tim Herman said Armstrong would consider the idea if the 26 witnesses who testified against him to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) would do the same.
The USADA stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from the sport for life after the organisation claimed he orchestrated the most sophisticated doping programme ever seen.
But asked if Armstrong would take a lie detector test himself, Herman told BBC Radio Five: “We might do that, you never know. I don’t know if we would or we wouldn’t. We might.”
Pressed on whether Armstrong had any reason not to take a test, Herman added: “Because he’s moved on. His name is never going to be clear with anyone beyond what it is today.”
In a further damning portrayal of the lengths the cyclist went to cover up his alleged drug taking, the wife of a former team-mate claims to have known he was doping for 16 years and has had to deal with his attempts to silence her ever since.
“Lance waged a war against me and I fought back quietly and smartly,” Betsy Andreu, whose husband Frankie rode alongside Armstrong in the Motorola and US Postal Service teams, told the Mail on Sunday.
Together with then-fiancé Frankie, she visited Armstrong as he received treatment for testicular cancer in 1996 and was party to a conversation he had with two doctors while she was in the room.
According to Betsy Andreu, Armstrong admitted then that he had been taking EPO, testosterone, growth hormone, cortisone and steroids to improve his cycling.
David Walsh, a journalist, became aware of that incident via an off the record statement from Betsy Andreu in 2003, but Armstrong quickly got word that she had revealed his secret.
He responded by starting an intimidation campaign that lasted years.
When Andreu refused to sign a statement in support of Armstrong and discrediting Walsh, the American began a media smear campaign against Andreu.
Armstrong’s former physical therapist Emma O’Reilly was another who tried to expose the cyclist who labelled her a “prostitute” and an “alcoholic”.
As rumours of drug use continued to swirl around Armstrong in 2008, Betsy Andreu meanwhile was left a sinister voicemail from a friend and former business associate of Armstrong.
“I hope somebody breaks a baseball bat over your head,” it said.
“I also hope that one day you have adversity in your life and you have some type of tragedy that will definitely make an impact on you.”
Andreu said: “The real Lance Armstrong is a bullshitter. He’s the chameleon. He will be what he wants you to see.
“If he wants you to be intimidated, he’ll be the bully; if he wants you to believe his lie, he’ll charm the hell out of you.
“He was nice to me at first. But then I wouldn’t stay quiet, and that was a problem. We knew Lance was a bully and the more money and power he got, the worse it became. He insulated himself and surrounded himself with “yes” people.
“When Frankie and I spoke up, he rounded on us quickly. It was stunning – not that he did it, but that it was to one of his closest friends. I thought, “Oh my gosh, who’s going to be next?”
Earlier the International Cycling Union, the sport’s world ruling body, was accused of turning a blind eye to Armstrong’s alleged doping.
Richard Pound, the former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, told AFP: “It is not credible that they didn’t know this was going on. I had been complaining to UCI for years.”