News Link • Drug War

Lance Armstrong as the greatest fraud in American sports

• Jay Hart
Officially, Jose "Pepe" Marti was listed as trainer for the Postal Service cycling team. But those on the team knew him as "The Courier."

One day while chatting with Tyler Hamilton, Pepe told the Postal Service surrogate that he had to drive to Nice, France, to make a delivery. That night, at the Villa d'Este Restaurant in Nice, Pepe arrived to a late dinner that included Lance Armstrong and his then-wife, Kristin, as well as Betsy Andreu, wife of Postal rider Frankie Andreu. According to Betsy, the reason given for the late dinner was because Pepe was there to deliver EPO (erythropoietin, a banned hormone that controls red blood cell production) to Lance and it was safer for him to cross the border with illegal drugs at night.

After dinner was over, the Armstrongs drove Betsy home. At some point, she saw Pepe hand Lance a brown paper bag. As Armstrong opened the car door for Andreu, he smiled, held up the bag and said, "Liquid gold."

On another occasion, as the Armstrongs and Andreus drove to a bike race in Milan, Italy, Armstrong stopped at a hotel/gas station outside Milan to meet Dr. Michele Ferrari, now infamous for supplying cyclists with performance-enhancing drugs. When asked why they were meeting him in such an odd place, Armstrong replied, "So the [expletive] press doesn't hound him." Leaving the other three in the car, Armstrong disappeared into Ferrari's camper for about an hour. When he returned, Armstrong exclaimed, "My numbers are great!" – the insinuation being he wouldn't test positive for performance-enhancing drugs. 

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