Armstrong supported in investigation by friend McIlvain
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Armstrong supported in investigation by friend McIlvain

by Samuel Morrison at 6:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
McIlvain testifies in federal investigation concerning allegations that Armstrong doped

Lance Armstrong's friend Stephanie McIlvain testified yesterday before a federal grand jury hearing evidence associated with Floyd Landis' allegations that Armstrong doped.   

"She confirmed," her attorney Tom Bienert told the Los Angeles Times, "she had no personal knowledge of Lance Armstrong using or taking performance-enhancing drugs."

McIlvain worked with Oakley eyewear as a liaison to US cyclist Armstrong and the two are close friends. She appeared before the panel with her attorney, Thomas Bienert, according to the Associated Press' sources.

McIlvain's testimony is important because she was one of the few people present in the hospital room in 1996 when Armstrong was being treated for cancer and allegedly told two doctors he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Frankie Andreu, Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate, and his wife Betsy were also at the hospital. They testified in the 2005 SCA Promotions civil case that Armstrong told the two doctors that he used EPO, steroids, human growth hormone, cortisone and testosterone. McIlvain, in the same 2005 case, denied she heard Armstrong talk to the doctors about using drugs.

However, federal prosecutors have subpoenaed a recording made in 2004 between Greg LeMond and McIlvain in which McIlvain acknowledged that the conversation took place.

"If I was subpoenaed, I would. ... I'm not going to lie," said McIlvain in the recording. "I was in that room. I heard it. I definitely won't lie. My whole concern is my loyalties to Oakley."

McIlvain said yesterday that the recordings were "gossip sessions that just weren't true."

Seven-time Tour de France champion Armstrong denies the hospital conversation about doping took place.

Floyd Landis alleged in a letter sent on April 30 to USA Cycling that his former US Postal team-mate from 2002 to 2004, Armstrong doped. In the letter, he detailed the US Postal's doping practices, which included blood transfusions and testosterone patches. The letter became public when it was leaked to the media May 19.

His allegations caught the eye of Jeff Novitzky, an agent for the USA's Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who was reportedly already working on a case involving drugs found in the apartment of cyclist Kayle Leogrande. If what Landis said was true, Armstrong and Bruyneel had used taxpayers' money to fund doping since the USA's postal service sponsored the team from 1998 to 2004.

A grand jury is convened in Los Angeles to hear evidence regarding possible doping and fraud charges. Investigators have issued subpoenas to individuals, including Armstrong's former team-mate Tyler Hamilton and three-time Tour de France winner, American Greg LeMond. Investigators have also requested documents from Armstrong's long-time sponsors, Nike and Trek.

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