Woman who lift lid on Armstrong's doping scandal 'tormented and intimidated' by cyclist, allies

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 08:30 hrs

One of the closest friends of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Frankie Andreu's wife, has revealed how she was tormented and intimidated for more than a decade by the cyclist and his allies as they stopped at nothing in their bid to silence her.

Betsy Andreu was left shaken by a chilling voicemail threatening to 'break a baseball bat' over her head which was among a series of voicemails and emails from friends and associates of Armstrong, seething over what they saw as an act of betrayal from within.

The Andreus' had been close friends with the Armstrongs, often dining together and socializing between races.

"He was nice to me at first. But then I wouldn't stay quiet, and that was a problem. We knew Lance was a bully and the more money and power he got, the worse it became. He insulated himself and surrounded himself with "yes" people," Betsy told the Daily Mail.

"When Frankie and I spoke up, he rounded on us quickly. It was stunning - not that he did it, but that it was to one of his closest friends. I thought, "Oh my gosh, who's going to be next?" and it was his wife," she added.

Frankie, who had competed professionally since 1989, succumbed to using erythropoietin (EPO) in 1996 when its use in the peloton was commonplace.

Betsy said that as she continued to make noises, she was met with hostility from his US Postal Service team-mates, and the intimidation escalated in 2008 when a friend and former business associate of Armstrong left a voicemail on her phone.

"I hope somebody breaks a baseball bat over your head. I also hope that one day you have adversity in your life and you have some type of tragedy that will definitely make an impact on you," the voicemail had said.

A 1,000-page United States Anti-Doping Agency dossier, smattered with drug-infused blood and the testimony of 26 former team-mates and colleagues, reveals the full scale of Armstrong's betrayal of millions of fans. (ANI)

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