"Like a dead body in the basement," the truth about Lance Armstrong's cheating is out. In this explosive documentary, those who broke the "code of silence" to expose the seven times Tour de France Winner reveal why they put their own lives and liberty on the line for cycling. They paint a portrait of Armstrong as a ruthless serial cheat - who not only used drugs but blood transfusions - and expected his team-mates to do the same.
Revelations come thick and fast in this forensic analysis of the biggest sporting fraud ever. When insurers due to pay millions in bonus prize-money began to suspect Armstrong, they questioned him on camera under oath. Throughout his testimony Armstrong vows he has "never taken performance enhancing drugs". Lawyer Jeffrey Tillotson draws a different conclusion: "We think now the evidence clearly shows that Lance Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs dating back to the beginning of his career. So those races were fixed."
Former team-mate Frankie Andreu testifies to being at Armstrong's side when he was in hospital for testicular cancer, as he admitted to doctors he had used "EPO, testosterone, growth hormone and cortisone." It was a moment of candour Armstrong no doubt regretted. Two days after it was revealed he gave $1.5 million to the hospital. Armstrong testifies "I'm funding a chair for somebody who saved my life." But to his doubters it was the first step in a pattern of buying silence.
Former team-mate Tyler Hamilton describes the "white lunch bags" containing the drug EPO, that doctors from the US Postal Service Team gave riders to boost their red blood cells. He says he and Armstrong injected after each stage of the Tour de France in the team van just metres away from fans. "You quickly just stuck it in, got rid of it. Give it to a team doctor to dispose." He says he and Armstrong re-infused their own blood to avoid detection in doping tests. "We were in this small hotel. There was a blood bag taped up on the wall." He says Armstrong lay on a bed in an adjoining room, with an open door between them. "I saw this bag of blood and saw it in his arm." Armstrong coolly denies the blood transfusions: "That would be banned."
Hamilton says Armstrong used a courier on motorbike nicknamed "Motoman" to deliver his drugs en route when the issue of doping became too high profile. When Armstrong tested positive for cortisone during one Tour his masseuse Emma O'Reilly heard his team discuss concocting a prescription for cortisone cream to treat saddle-sores: "a backdated prescription to help explain his elevated cortisone level." In the year 2000 scientists researching a test for EPO found the drug in Armstrong's urine samples. Under oath, Armstrong claims a mix-up or even that his sample was spiked. "When I pissed in the bottle there was not EPO in that piss."
Since 1998 one third of the top ten Tour de France riders have been linked to doping. Yet time and again the UCI, the body tasked with investigating doping, has not acted to investigate Armstrong. He has donated more than $100,000 to the UCI. Without a trace of irony he explains "I'm doing it to fund the fight against doping."
Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France within three years of being diagnosed with cancer. "It's not about money for me. It's about the faith of all the cancer survivors around the world,"†he intones. Sadly for him, the world no longer believes in miracles.
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Quentin started work for ABC Australia in 1999 as Lateline's Supervising Producer with a background of 25 years spent working for magazines, local and national newspapers, and television in the United Kingdom. There he spent six years working for Granada Televisionís World in Action and was part of the team who investigated and exposed Conservative Cabinet Minister Jonathan Aitkenís links with the Saudi Royal Family. Quentin moved to ABC's Four Corners team in 2000 and during his time as a reporter and producer has been a finalist in the Walkley Awards four times: three as a reporter, for 'Hitting Material' (2000), 'The Final Whistle' (2002) and 'The Hidden Army'(2005). He has also been nominated in the Logies, the Human Rights & Equal Opportunity Commissionís Television Award, and the United Nations Association of Australiaís Media Peace Awards.