Oprah Winfrey entered the room to interview Lance Armstrong with "112 questions." After, she was "mesmerized and riveted" by some of the answers in what she calls "the biggest interview I've ever done in terms of its exposure." The interview will air on Oprah's OWN network on Thursday and Friday, Jan. 17 and 18.
However, despite the buzz on the upcoming interview, Betsy Andreu is not thrilled about it. "Oprah is supposed to embody truth, but she never cared about the truth of Lance until now . . . until such time as it is going to benefit her flailing network," she said to VeloNation.
Betsy Andreu is the wife of former pro-cyclist Frankie Andreu. In 1996, when Armstrong was being treated for testicular cancer, Andreu and her husband claimed they heard Armstrong tell doctors, in a hospital room, that he had used a variety of doping products prior to getting sick, including EPO. Both have since testified under oath against Armstrong, and what was once a friendship with Armstrong is no more. Frankie Andreu, who was a member of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team with Armstrong, admitted to using the performance enhancing drug EPO, in 1999, to prepare for the 1999 Tour de France.
The outspoken Betsy feels Oprah is not the person for the job. "In 2011, last time he was on her show, she welcomed him on there with a big bear hug. The guy was under a criminal investigation - did she mention that in the interview? No, she said nothing," Betsy said. "She is part of the media problem, she aided and abetted Lance. I hope she confesses to that, because she helped him in his destruction of people by refusing to ever question him. Particularly so when he was under a criminal investigation. She didn’t question him at all. She validates herself by being embraced by celebrities."
Mrs. Andreu also feels that Armstrong did the interview with Oprah because he has no other options. "I think it has to do with the lawsuits that are looming over him, and the fact that he has nothing to do with his life," she said. "His foundation got rid of him. He wants to compete. So for me, this interview is about garnering public sympathy, and self-aggrandizement. Lance doesn’t do anything without considering Lance first, and only Lance."
Betsy claims that Armstrong, who was eventually stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from pro cycling for life, threatened people and ruined careers before the sanctions eventually happened. One of the threats included Armstrong allegedly saying to Frankie regarding Betsy, "by helping to bring me down is not going to help y’alls situation at all. There is a direct link to all of our success here and I suggest you remind her of that."
The United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) CEO Travis T. Tygart released a statement where it was concluded "the evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." As a result of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team investigation, Tygart claimed to Scott Pelley of "60 Minutes," that he, as well as cyclists who testified against Armstrong, received threats from Armstrong. Tygart claimed he received anonymous emails and letters and said the worst threat was "putting a bullet to my head." Tygart said he turned the threats over to the FBI for investigation.
Now that Armstrong's chickens have come home to roost, now that he's interviewed with Oprah and is now supposedly admitting to the public what he did, or at least some of what he did, should he be forgiven? According to Betsy Andreu, no. "To me, he’s like Bernie Madoff. He said he was sorry, too, but should we let him trade stocks again?"
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