Posted October 16, 2012

Nike allegedly paid $500K to cover up Lance Armstrong’s positive drug test

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Nike reportedly paid $500,000 to the former president of Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body for sports cycling and international competitions, to cover-up one of Lance Armstrong’s positive drug tests, according to a report Tuesday from Michael O’Keefee of The New York Daily News.

Nike reportedly paid $500K to cover up one of Lance Armstrong’s positive drug tests. (AFP/Getty Images)

Nike has long supported Armstrong despite the fact that he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles this year amid allegations that he took illegal substances during competitions. Details of the allegations made by some of his critics are coming forward indicating that Nike actively covered up Armstrong’s involvement in what the USADA called one of the most sophisticated doping programs in sports history:

One of those critics is Kathy LeMond, the wife of American cyclist Greg LeMond, who testified under oath during a 2006 deposition that Nike paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test.

One of Armstrong’s team mechanics reportedly told Kathy Lemond in a 2006 deposition that Nike solicited the help of a San Francisco-based banker to wire $500,000 to a Swiss bank account that allegedly belonged to Verbruggen.

A former teammate of Armstrong’s said he would spend Tuesday outside of Nike’s headquarters in Oregon to protest its continued support of Armstrong:

“Nike should not condone the behavior that Lance Armstrong has demonstrated for so long,” former professional rider Paul Willerton said. “To see Nike take this stance now is disgusting. Nike’s materials have stood for some of the greatest thing you can stand for as a company. A clean sport should be another one of those things.”

Nike denies any involvement in covering up doping allegations:

“Nike vehemently denies that it paid former UCI president Hein Verbruggen $500,000 to cover up a positive drug test,” the company said in a statement. “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs.”


15 comments
Django
Django

Look up the banking records and see. With Armstrong and Nike involved I wouldn't be surprised. But let's see what the investigators find.

Steelhammer901
Steelhammer901

This just in, Lance Armstrong the cause of global warming, Really, I am convinced he doped, along with pretty much everyone in the peloton at that time. I think not only should they take away his titles but wipe any record of pro cycling off the books for that time period. I believe he should be punished but the mob mentality of all of this is getting to be a bit too much. I also think this whole, wipe away your sins by saying lance made me do it is a bunch of crap. Everyone is saying he should come clean, well so should everyone else and just admit they doped because, they didn't think they would get caught, wanted to win as bad as he did, are greedy for fame and fortune, and what the heck, everyone is doing it.

joeshine
joeshine

Kathy Lemond needs a good thump in the rump.

GlennGeelhoed
GlennGeelhoed

Article has some glaring mistakes. For one Armstrong has not been stripped of his tour titles. The French governing body has yet to take that action. The so called journalist needs to take a refresher course.

gmag39
gmag39

In a sport that's so filthy dirty, who do you believe?  

Every person & entity seems to have some vested interest 

in the outcome of Armstrong's long-running soap opera.

The very SPORT itself is tainted after all these many years

of ped/doping allegations involving seemingly every competitor.

If you haven't been  accused, you likely haven't  done or won anything.

It rivals Pro Wrestling for integrity.  

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CPUtalking2U
CPUtalking2U

We're  F&$%king Nike-  we don't care--  we have tons of money and can write it off-- we'll just post another group of  commercials and  get inner city kids to pay huge amounts of  money for $20 sneakers!

mpq1969
mpq1969

So Kathy LaMond hears from a team mechanic?  And he wasn't personally involved in the financial transaction correct?  After all he is just a mechanic.

So my question would be this, since when do we use the "well I heard it from a neighbor's brother who heard it from his mailman that said he overheard this guy at the coffee shop say it" kind of b.s. to claim a guy is guilty of something?

The guy probably did dope up but this argument from the wife of an avid and life-long Lance Armstrong hater wouldn't prove anything.

aaronfarber9
aaronfarber9

While I believe Lance clearly doped, this report seems unbelievable.  Lemond has always hated Lance for sorta stealing his thunder and I think, not paying him the proper respect.  I've read countless stories where Lemond has made ridiculous accusations towards Lance.  All that said, glad that chickens are coming home to roost.

gatorallin
gatorallin

I just want to see Lance start a series of sports where doping is allowed. I would pay good money to watch that...   Once you start doping you can NEVER compete in the regular group of course, but then we could bring all the great banned for life athletes back. Love to see this be a special class of athletes also for the Olympics. I don't see anything wrong with this as long as there is medical/Dr. supervision and that they are honest about it. Knowing there is an official group should make coming out even easier.  Just like race cars I want to see who is really the fastest and what else we can learn from pushing the limits of athletes. Lance you can lead the way on this... 

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

LIEstrong, Nike! ; )  I knew UCI was corrupt, I'm sure they had proof of positive tests by LA.

watcher
watcher

Well, it always did seem a bit implausible that Armstrong could have gotten away with it for so long without some outside help. Perhaps a full enquiry needs to be done to determine who knew what and when so that blame can be correctly apportioned. Directing all of the wrath at Armstrong alone does seem to be a bit short-sighted.

 

Although cheating is wrong, Armstrong was competing in a sport riddled with drug cheats, so what he achieved (even with the help of drugs) is still an amazing thing. Undoubtedly, videos of him like the one at http://larmstrongdrugabuse.celebrityshocks.com/ will damage the image of cycling. You can't help wondering how many other cyclists are still at it today...

 

aaronfarber9
aaronfarber9

 @gatorallin Except even racing has limits...certain parts and dimensions are illegal in auto racing.  While I think doping and steroids can be done safely, I don't think doctors would ever approve.  The point is these are medical treatments not meant for performance enhancement.  Its an abuse of it.  And we all know that as in baseball, once someone steroids or dopes, everybody just one ups each other until they're doing unsafe amounts.  Like Canseco or like Lyle Alzado.  That's why you can't have it at all.

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

 @watcher He was using Dr. Michele Ferrari, uh, HELLO!, that dude was one of the early pioneers of using EPO.  There was two or three Tour de France races where 8 of the top 10 finishers were Italian. If you want to read a very good book about all this: "From Lance to Landis: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour De France" by David Walsh.  I would imagine a lot of people are going to be trying to find it but he has a lot of proof.