By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Although French investigators from the cybercrime unit of the Gendarmerie have yet to find the culprits who hacked the computer system of the anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) in Châtenay-Malabry, sending fake e-mails that were allegedly sent by a "close associate" of 2006 Tour De France winner Floyd Landis, according to French newspaper Le Monde, another American cyclist may be a suspect in the cyberspace tomfoolery: Lance Armstrong.
An article published last week in Le Monde by French journalist Stéphane Mandard contained a claim that Lance Armstrong might be the mystery hacker of the LNDD lab, according to allegations by Betsy Andreu in her deposition of January 17, 2006 in the Armstrong/SCA Promotions arbitration case. When Armstrong's attorney Timothy Herman deposed Mrs. Andreu, asking "did you already tell anyone that Lance Armstrong has hacked your computer", Betsy Andreu, the wife of former professional cyclist Frankie Andreu said "I think [Armstrong] has hacked my computer and we are currently suing America On Line to find the IP address of who hacked my computer."
Betsy Andreu had already filed a complaint with the Dearborn, Michigan police department on March 31, 2005 when she tried to sign on to her AOL account and found that someone else had already signed on to her account and that the same thing happened to Frankie Andreu's computer the next day.
Betsy Andreu told Le Monde's Mandard that "Lance wanted to control everything; anything anyone might say about him and he was ready to do anything to do it." According to Mrs. Andreu, her computer wasn't the only one Armstrong had hacked. She claimed in her SCA deposition in January 2006 that former Oakley sports marketing manager Stephanie McIlvain thought that Armstrong had hacked her computer and had placed a bug in the computer of his ex-wife Kristin as the couple was going through their divorce.
"Stephanie told me that [Armstrong] told her he put a bug in Kristin's computer and every word she typed was sent directly to him. Stephanie was scared that Lance had also hacked her computer." Although AOL refused to cooperate with Ms. Andreu, she told Mandard the she next intended to take the matter up with the Justice Department.
When Cyclingnews reached Lance Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas to ask him about the accusations in the Le Monde article, the seven time Tour De France winner was incredulous. "Oh boy... Just when I thought I had heard it all", exclaimed a surprised Armstrong. "What's next? Saddam Hussein's WMD's are out at my ranch in Texas? 'Ridiculous' does not even begin to describe this latest insinuation. These accusations are not credible in any sense of the word. Are we supposed to believe anything Betsy Andreu says? However, I do wish her all the luck in the world with her lawsuit against AOL, one of the largest ISP's in the world today."