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Armstrong says LeMond 'not in check with reality'

6/28/2006

AUSTIN, Texas -- Lance Armstrong denied Monday that he
threatened three-time Tour de France champion Greg LeMond, calling
the allegation "ridiculous.''

"Greg is just not in check with reality,'' Armstrong said
Monday from New York City. "It's ridiculous. Greg is obsessed with
foiling my career.

"I'm apoplectic when I read stuff like that,'' Armstrong said.

LeMond was the first American to win the Tour de France with
victories in 1986 and 1989-90. Armstrong came back from
life-threatening testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and
brain to win seven in a row from 1999-2005 before retiring last
year.

LeMond told the French weekly edition of L'Equipe Dimanche that
he had testified in a recent legal dispute involving Armstrong.

"He threatened my wife, my business, my livelihood,'' LeMond told the
newspaper. "His biggest threat consisted of saying he would find
10 people to testify that I took EPO. Of course, he didn't find a
single one.''

America's top cyclists have had a public feud since 2001 when
LeMond said he was unhappy about Armstrong's association with
Italian doctor Michele Ferrari, who had been linked to doping
accusations but later was cleared by an appeals court.

Armstrong cut ties with Ferrari before the 2005 Tour.

Armstrong was involved in a battle over a $5 million performance
bonus owed to him after winning the Tour de France in 2004.
Dallas-based SCA Promotions had withheld the money under
allegations Armstrong was doping, which he denied.

After three weeks of testimony from dozens of witnesses, the
three-member arbitration panel ruled in Armstrong's favor and
ordered the company to pay him $7.5 million.

Betsy Andreu, the wife of Armstrong's former teammate, Frankie
Andreu, claimed that Armstrong, days after he underwent brain
surgery in 1996, told a doctor he had used the blood-boosting
hormone EPO and other drugs. Frankie Andreu also gave similar
testimony before the panel.

Armstrong denied those claims and his lawyer released an
affidavit from the doctor who led his chemotherapy treatments
saying there is no medical record of any such admission.

"I would have recorded such a confession as a matter of form,
as indeed, would have my colleagues,'' Dr. Craig Nichols said.
"None was recorded.''

Armstrong, who has shifted his career to promoting cancer
research, said he would continue to aggressively fight allegations
he used performance-enhancing drugs.

"We have won them all,'' Armstrong said. "I never run from
anything. If you've got stuff to hide, you wouldn't do like I've
done.''