Former Lance Armstrong teammate Andreu says 'I told the truth' - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Former Lance Armstrong teammate Andreu says 'I told the truth'

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By Alexis Wiley
Fox 2 News

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Frankie Andreu says Lance Armstrong and his supporters were willing to do almost anything to protect his reputation and hide the dirty secret behind so much success and they hurt a lot of people in the process.

"The message that you're sending to high school athletes and even below that is that the only way they can keep going up that next level is if they're taking stuff.  So you have to stop it at the top," he said.

What Armstong reportedly admitted to Oprah is what Andreu and his wife, Betsy, have known all along.  Andreu and Armstrong were close friends and teammates for ten years.  Together they won two Tour de France titles.  Armstrong went on to win more, but Andreu said what he heard Armstrong admit in a hospital room in 1996 may explain why he had such a winning edge.

"A doctor asked him if he had been taking any performance enhancing drugs.  He rattled off a slew of like five of them."

"Our eyes popped out of our head.  It was a shocker."

Ten years later, Andreu was subpoenaed and forced to testify.

"I didn't want to go to jail, so I choose to tell the truth," he said.

And telling the truth cost him nearly everything.

"He set out to protect his name, which meant destroying anybody that crossed his path and, of course, we were in that path," said Andreu.  "I lost my job in 2000.  I wasn't rehired by the team I was with."

"It was connected to him," he continued.  "He's very influential in cycling, so there [are] many other jobs that just never came around because either you supported Lance Armstrong or you believed the truth."

That truth became undeniable after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report detailed Armstong's doping scheme and the superstar athlete lost his tour titles and endorsements.  Months later, it appears Armstrong is ready to come clean.

What was Andreu's reaction when he heard Armstrong was finally going to admit what he had been saying all along?

"I didn't believe it.  It's been a long time coming," he said.  "Instead of walking around kind of humped over not sure how the reaction of other people are going to be, I can hold my head up high because I told the truth and the truth has come out."

Andreu told me he will watch Armstrong's interview with Oprah, but he hopes this leads to bigger questions because he and many others say Armstong did not do this alone.  There are people who profited from his success and may have helped him cheat the system.

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