Endurance: Betsy Andreu

Andreus left with mixed emotions

January, 18, 2013

After Lance Armstrong confessed to doping in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday night, VeloNews caught up with Frankie Andreu on Friday morning to discuss his reactions to the much-anticipated confession by his former friend and teammate. Andreu also discussed what the admission meant for his wife, Betsy, who along with Andreu has played a pivotal role in the rise and fall of America's most famous cyclist.

What was your reaction to the interview and Armstrong's admission of doping during his seven Tour de France victories?

I was shocked. It was a day I thought would never come. At the same time, extremely sad, you know, watching him. He admitted to cheating for all of his Tour victories and even before that. I'm not surprised at the doping -- that was the culture. I was there; I knew how that was. But I was really surprised at the courage that it took for him to actually come out and just say, 'Yes, I did this; yes, I did this,' and took responsibility for it.

On ESPN Radio: Frankie Andreu | Betsy Andreu | Tyler Hamilton | Stuart Scott

Beyond Armstrong's long-awaited admission of doping, what else struck you during the interview?

Obviously Betsy was extremely upset that he did not come out and just say the hospital room happened [Armstrong has attacked Andreu in the press for years after she testified under oath that he had listed a number of performance enhancing drugs when doctors asked him about medications he was taking when he began his cancer treatment in 1996]. I would have liked that, too. You know, put it out there publicly that we didn't lie, that we didn't make all this stuff up, that it happened. I think it's a bit more complicated and there are some underlying reasons that I don't really know why perhaps he couldn't come out and say that.

But overall it's a huge step. People are saying this is a little step and it's not worth a whole lot, but for him to come forward and admit that he doped and admit to all this is a massive step. I mean, it's something nobody ever thought would happen. And it's incredible. And it took a lot of courage because people don't understand. The first time you've got to talk about what you did in the past, how you cheated, how you lied, it's hard, it's really hard. And he's got a ton to lose. I mean, he put it all out there on the line. I've got to give him respect for doing that.

Now, do I think he told the truth for everything throughout the interview? No.

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