The Small, Petty, Fraudulent Vendettas of Lance Armstrong

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Dan Wetzel has a (partial) list of people Lance Armstrong tried to ruin after they accused him of doping. For those living under a rock, Armstrong has now confessed that the accusations were true. Here are two examples:


Let's talk Betsy Andreu, the wife of one your former teammates, Frankie. Both Andreus testified under oath that they were in a hospital room in 1996 when you admitted to a doctor to using EPO, HGH and steroids. You responded by calling them "vindictive, bitter, vengeful and jealous." And that's the stuff we can say on TV.

Would you now label them as "honest?"

And what would you say directly to Betsy, who dealt with a voicemail from one of your henchmen that included, she's testified, this:

"I hope somebody breaks a baseball bat over your head. I also hope that one day you have adversity in your life and you have some type of tragedy that will ... definitely make an impact on you.."

What do you say to Emma O'Reilly, who was a young Dublin native when she was first hired by the U.S. Postal team to give massages to the riders after races?

In the early 2000s, she told stories of rampant doping and how she was used to transport the drugs across international borders. In the USADA report, she testified that you tried to "make my life hell."

Her story was true, Lance, wasn't it? And you knew it was true. Yet despite knowing it was true, you, a famous multimillionaire superstar, used high-priced lawyers to sue this simple woman for more money than she was worth in England, where slander laws favor the famous. She had no chance to fight it.

She testified that you tried to ruin her by spreading word that she was a prostitute with a heavy drinking problem.

"The traumatizing part," she once told the New York Times, "was dealing with telling the truth."

I'm not sure what I think about drugging when everyone else around you is drugging. I don't think lying is a very good idea. I think trying to destroy people for telling the truth is a good deal worse. It's that all-out war that really sets Armstrong apart. This isn't just a "doping scandal." It's something much creepier.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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