Lance Armstrong Reportedly Tied to Performance-Enhancers in Recording
Armstrong, who won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles, has repeatedly denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs or doping.
The recording and a transcript of the telephone call are expected to be presented to a federal grand jury in Los Angeles that is looking into allegations of drug use in professional cycling.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times that the woman who engaged in the phone call with LeMond is Stephanie McIlvain, who served as Armstrong's liaison at Oakley and was a confidant. Prosecutors have already subpoenaed McIlvain.
LeMond originally called McIlvain with the intention of talking to her about other business. But the telephone call switched gears shortly after when LeMond asked McIlvain exactly what happened in the hospital room with Armstrong in 1996.
During the telephone conversation McIlvain asked LeMond if he was taping the phone call, to which he responded, "no."
According to the Los Angeles Times article, LeMond says on the phone call, "I know what I heard from a source outside of the group here of what, um, happened at the hospital.... I'm not asking you to do anything you would never want to do, but, you know, if I did get down where it was ... a lawsuit ... would you be willing to testify?"
McIlvain responded: "If I was subpoenaed, I would. ... I'm not going to lie. ... I was in that room. I heard it. ... My whole concern is my loyalties to Oakley. ... They say I was never in there. And I know I was in there. You know, I totally know I was in there."
According to LeMond's wife Kathy, the tape was made in July 2004. Greg LeMond has reportedly given prosecutors the taped conversation with McIlvain along with tens of thousands of documents corroborating evidence against Armstrong.
The true story in regards to what Armstrong actually told doctors in 1996 has been in dispute since 2004, when a book came out noting that Armstrong's former teammate, Frankie Andreu, and his wife, Betsy, who were also present in the 1996 hospital room, said they also heard Armstrong's admissions to using performance-enhancing drugs. Earlier this summer, Betsy Andreu told prosecutors and the Los Angeles Times that she thinks McIlvain has not spoken out about the situation to not jeopardize her career with Oakley.
In a 2005 Texas civil case deposition, McIlvain denied ever hearing Armstrong make an admission of using performance-enhancing drugs or doping. She did not return calls to the Los Angeles Times.
Betsy Andreu, though, has also provided federal prosecutors with voice mail tapes that reportedly have McIlvain apologizing for lying in the 2005 Texas civil case deposition.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, one of Armstrong's legal representative notes that, "Greg LeMond's illegal tape is the stalest of all the stale news to emerge from this inquiry so far: Ms. McIlvain disavowed this during her 2005 sworn deposition, and Mr. LeMond violated California law when he made the tape in yet another of his pathetic attempts to settle old cycling grudges."
The Los Angeles Times also reported that legal expert Laurie Levenson noted that calls can be used as evidence in federal cases as long as one of the parties in the taped call is not reluctant to using it.
In other Lance Armstrong news, the head of the French anti-doping agency, Pierre Bordry, has said that he will fully cooperate with the U.S. in their investigation into Armstrong and doping.