In “Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, The Tour de France and The Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever,” a new book by Wall Street Journal reporters, Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell, set to release next Tuesday, Sheryl Crow admits that she knew what Lance was doing while he was doing it.
Crow and Armstrong dated, and were even engaged, for a brief period of time in the mid-2000’s. In 2004, Crow flew with Armstrong to Belgium in his private jet. Once there, Crow witnessed Armstrong undergo a blood transfusion. The purpose of the transfusion was to increase the number of red blood cells in Armstrong’s body, thus increasing the amount of oxygen that could be transported to and used by Armstrong’s muscles. This procedure was a way in which Armstrong could get a leg-up on his competition without testing positive for illegal substances.
Albergotti and O’Connell state in their book that “Rather than try to hide the transfusion from her, Armstrong was completely open about it. He trusted that Crow would have no desire to tell the press or anyone else about the team’s doping program. He explained that it was simply part of the sport – that all cyclists were doing the same thing.”
While many other cyclists may have been doing the same exact thing, most of them were not winning multiple Tour de France titles and constantly drawing attention to themselves.
Crow decided to talk to the FDA only after she had been offered a proffer – a legal document which prohibits one from being prosecuted due to cooperating with the investigation.
While Crow has escaped legal prosecution, Armstrong is still in hot water. The Justice Department is still prosecuting Armstrong under the False Claims Act due to Armstrong receiving millions of dollars in sponsorship from the USPS while knowingly violating his contract.
Armstrong opened up to Oprah Winfrey last January and admitted that his entire career was one big lie, he was not able to save face. Once mentioned in the same sentences as Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods as one of the most dominant athletes in his sport of all time, Armstrong and his “Live Strong” campaign have fallen harder than the Roman Empire. If Armstrong is convicted by the Justice Department under the False Claims Act, his career will have an asterisks as permanent as Pete Rose’s has been.
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