One of Lance Armstrong’s former friends was not surprised when the ex-Tour De France champion fell from grace due to doping allegations.
According to NBC News, Betsy Andreu told NBC’s Harry Smith that Lance Armstrong is the “Bernie Madoff” of the sporting world. Andreu says that Armstrong played the world and the media while knowingly taking performance enhancing drugs.
In an interview on NBC’s Rock Center, Andreu was asked why she compares Armstrong to disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. Andreu replied by saying, ““Because Bernie Madoffwas one of the biggest frauds in the history of the world, in the history of finance maybe? Lance is the biggest fraud in the history of sport.”
Andreu’s husband Frankie was one of Armstrong’s teammates and one of his best friends, so she used to be part of Armstrong’s inner circle. However, her and Armstrong had a falling out when she refused to lie about something that she heard while visiting the hospital when Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
“The doctors come in and I suggested we leave and to give Lance his privacy. And Lance said, ‘That’s okay. You can stay.’ And I turned to Frankie, because Lance was in front of us, and I said, ‘I think we should leave to give him his privacy.’ And he said we could stay, ‘Everybody’s friends here,’” Andreu told Smith.
Andreu then said that the doctors asked a few questions and then asked if Armstrong had used any performance enhancing drugs.
“Lance, holding his I.V., nonchalantly rattled off, ‘Yes, steroids, testosterone, growth hormone, E.P.O., cortisone,’” Andreu said. “My eyes popped out of my head. Frankie saw that I was upset and he excused ourselves and we left.”
Andreu and Armstrong are not friends any more, but she still has a little bit of sympathy towards the once proud cyclist.
“On one hand, there is some compassion, because I don’t think he ever healed the child within. And it made him this diabolical person that he is today,” Andreu said.