Drugs and the Peloton
Team Armstrong Responds
“Lance, we had a deal,” I said.
“No, we didn’t. There’s no deal. People try this shit all the time.”
I could feel my blood pressure dropping. I put my son down and tried to get up from the table, but I actually passed out. I came to a few moments later, with Allison shaking me and asking if I was all right. The strain of being fired and blackballed was too much. I’d slumped face-first onto the table.
Allison grabbed the phone. After I regained my senses, I listened to her talking to Armstrong. She said he told her I was a “great guy” but that “we just weren’t getting along.”
The next day he called again. Allison advised me to stay cool. “Look, Lance,” I said. “This isn’t gonna do either of us any good at all. All I want is for you to fulfill your end of the bargain.”
“It’s not gonna happen.”
At this point, I felt like I was being coerced into signing the document. By then, Russey had called me to say that Armstrong, in a fury, had told him I’d better sign if I ever wanted to work in the bike industry again. On the advice of a friend, I spoke to a lawyer to determine what rights I had. I didn’t think that negotiating with Armstrong would go anywhere, so my lawyer wrote a letter asking him to honor his original offer. If he did, I could walk away, bruised but still moving forward. Instead, Armstrong dug in.
OR, AS BILL STAPLETON aptly put it, he launched World War III, which went by the same script I’d witnessed with the others. Stapleton asked my lawyer for a settlement proposal, which we promptly provided and was stamped up top with the word CONFIDENTIAL. This was part of the normal routine for settling disputes like these.