Claims Armstrong said "We've all done EPO"
Cyclingnews has obtained a full copy of Kathy LeMond's deposition from the 2006 SCA case. LeMond testifies under oath that Julian Devries, a former US Postal mechanic, told her and several others that Nike and Thom Weisel - the San Francisco banker who sponsored and part-owned Armstrong's team - had transferred $500,000 to a Swiss bank account that belonged to UCI honorary president Hein Verbruggen.
The money was allegedly sent to cover up a 1999 positive drug test for corticosteroids, which Armstrong had used to treat saddle sores.
Devries has denied telling the LeMond's this but in her deposition Mrs LeMond states: "He believed the money must have come from Nike and Thom Weisel because he couldn't figure out where the money came from."
The NY Daily News reported the allegations Tuesday and Nike, which has stated their backing of Armstrong in the face of recent doping revelations released a statement:
"In response to the offensive allegations in today's New York Daily News, Nike vehemently denies that it paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test. Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs."
Devries worked as Greg LeMond's mechanic during the American's racing career and later also had a job with US Postal team. In Kathy LeMond's deposition she states that in a conversation with Devries which took place at the Tour de France in 2000, he disclosed that he had also worked at a US Postal training camp in May 2000 that was attended by Armstrong, Kevin Livingston and Tyler Hamilton. According to Mrs LeMond, Devries said 'when they weren't on their bikes, they were on IVs.'
In Tyler Hamilton's book "The Secret Race" he discusses the training camp in May 2000, supporting LeMond's claim. In his autobiography Hamilton writes: "As Johan [Bruyneel] explained it, Lance, Kevin, and I would fly to Valencia. We would donate a bag of blood, which would be stored, and we'd fly home the next day."
"Then, at a key point during the Tour, we'd put the back in, and we'd get a boost."
LeMond also discloses that she and her husband Greg LeMond taped several conversations with John Burke, the CEO of Trek Bicycles. Cyclingnews contacted Greg LeMond who said that he and his wife recorded conversations on the advice of the legal authorities after he had received several threatening calls.
Mrs LeMond's deposition stretches over 150 pages, but along with the Nike allegations she also recounts a phone conversation that occurred between Lance Armstrong and Greg LeMond after the three-time-Tour-winner told the press that he was dismayed that Armstrong had worked with the Italian doctor Michele Ferrari. The conversation was first reported by David Walsh in his book "LA Confidential". The LeMonds did not record the conversation but Kathy LeMond was asked during her deposition to recall the conversation.
According to Mrs LeMond, Armstrong said: "There's no way you could have won your Tour de Frances without EPO." And Greg got very angry and said, "Listen, I won my - I was third in 1984, I was second in 1985, I won in 1986. This type of drug did not exist. The difference between you and me is that I have a 95 VO2 max and you have an 82, and you're - you don't - basically you don't know what you're talking about."
The conversation continued when Armstrong is alleged to have said: "We've all done EPO," and Greg had said, 'No. Not everyone,' but it would be more accurate from my written notes." The LeMonds made notes after the phone call had taken place.
During her deposition Kathy LeMond is also questioned on allegations of race fixing. She is asked about any other potential bribes related to Armstrong, which she answers by saying: "The only one that you might be referring to is the supposed race-fixing for him to win the million dollar grand prix or something, whatever he won - the drug store race."
The event she was referring to was the Triple Crown which took place in 1993. Armstrong was on the Motorola team with Phil Anderson, who stated last week that he didn't recall the meeting that Stephen Swart testified about in the SCA trial. According to Swart, after the first of three races he attended a meeting with Armstrong and Anderson and was offered cash to help Armstrong win all three races. Such a result would have netted Armstrong one million dollars. He went on to win all three races.
However LeMond recalled hearing about the story from Anderson, stating that: "I think he was on Motorola maybe, and that they were going to do everything they could to make sure that he won the second and third, and I think when they won the second you could pretty much pay off a breakaway group and the third race because no one else was entitled to that million dollars."