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Lance Armstrong Admits Doping; Previous Deposition of Armstrong's Denial; White House Weighs in on Armstrong Scandal; Cyclist Stephen Swart Says Armstrong Used Bribery.
Aired January 15, 2013 - 13:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN ANCHOR: The world now knows that Lance Armstrong lied. Oprah Winfrey interviewed him for 2.5 hours and says that the reports about him using performance-enhancing drugs are now confirmed. Of course, it flies in the face of what he said publicly for years.
Back in 2005, Armstrong went to court against an insurance company that would not pay him performance bonuses. We are going to play the entire deposition. What you're going to hear here is Armstrong being questioned about statements made by the wife of a former teammate, Betsy Andrews. She said that Armstrong fell out with her and her husband after she refused to cover up Armstrong's use of these illicit substances, and when she first learned about all of that during a hospital visit.
Here's how he responds.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You attended the deposition of Miss Betsy Andrew, did you not?
LANCE ARMSTRONG, CYCLIST: Correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And you heard her testimony regarding certain statements you were alleged to have made in a conference room at the Indiana University Hospital, correct?
ARMSTRONG: I heard the statements, correct.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I'm going to ask you about those now, transitioning to ask you about those. First, do you deny the statements that Miss Andrew attribute butted to you and the Indiana University hospital?
ARMSTRONG: 100 percent, absolutely.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you also deny what Mr. Andrew said regarding those statements?
ARMSTRONG: 100 percent. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you disclose to any medical professional at the hospital there -- well, let me rephrase that. Did any medical person ask you, while you were at the Indiana university hospital, whether you had ever used any sort of performance-enhancing drugs or substances.
ARMSTRONG: No. Absolutely not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That never came up? As part of your treatment, no one ever asked you that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Can you offer or can you help explain to me why Miss Andrew would make that story up?
ARMSTRONG: Well, at she said in her deposition, she hates me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You believe she's making that story up to get back at you or to cause you harm?
ARMSTRONG: Whether she's making up that she hates me?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. Do you believe she's making -- I mean, according to you, the story was she said she specifically heard you say stuff and --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Remember, she testified she took Mr. Andrew out and confronted him whether or not he was doing the same thing. Do you recall that testimony?
ARMSTRONG: Yes, vaguely. I have no idea why she did that, other than she hates me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Obviously you had a relationship with her, you knew her, you go back sometime with her and I'm asking --
ARMSTRONG: I knew her very little. Not very well.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why would Mr. Andrew say the same things, if you know?
ARMSTRONG: Probably to support his wife, which I don't know if you're married or not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am.
ARMSTRONG: -- sometimes is required.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you think -- is it your testimony that Mr. Andrew was also lying when he said that he heard you say those things regarding your prior use.
ARMSTRONG: 100 percent. But I feel for him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you mean by that?
ARMSTRONG: I think he's trying to back up his old lady.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to make sure. It's not that you don't remember whether the Indiana hospital room incident occurred -- it affirmatively did not take place.
ARMSTRONG: No. How could it have taken place when I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs? How could that have happened?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My point. You're not --
ARMSTRONG: How many times do I have to say it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm trying to make sure your testimony's clear.
ARMSTRONG: If it can't be any clear than I've never taken drugs, incidents could never have happened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
ARMSTRONG: How clear is that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's clear. Can I ask you additional questions as a follow-up on that?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have never taken any performance-enhancing drug in connection with your cycling career?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And that would include any substance that's ever been banned, is that fair to say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why don't you give me the definition of what you're using when you say you've never taken performance-enhancing substances?
ARMSTRONG: Anything on the ban list.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For example, would that include that you've never used your own blood for doping purposes, for example?
ARMSTRONG: That would be banned.
(LAUGHTER) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. I'm not trying to agitate you. I'm trying to make sure the testimony's clear, OK?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. I understand that you find allegations regarding that to be agitating but I'm just asking you questions, OK, I'm not trying to insult you. Fair enough?
ARMSTRONG: All right. Fair enough. Fair enough.
MALVEAUX: That was Armstrong back in 2005. Coming up, you'll hear what he says about the blood-boosting hormone known as EPO. Our special coverage continues.
MALVEAUX: We're bringing you Lance Armstrong in his own words, denials, repeated denials, in a deposition back in 2005. Armstrong went to court against an insurance company that would not pay him performance bonuses. Well, in this portion of the deposition, Armstrong is being questioned about his early Tour de France victory when, according to sworn affidavits, Armstrong's drug of choice was the blood-boosting hormone known as EPO.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When you rode in '99 and 2000 Tour de France, you did note there was no test for EPO?
ARMSTRONG: I have no way of knowing. You have to assume that's the best assumption.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, is it your testimony that you didn't know in connection with your participation in '99 and 2000 Tour de France races that there was no test being administered for the presence of EPO?
ARMSTRONG: Well, if the question is, did I read a public announcement that the EPO test is ready to go and will be implemented in '99 or 2000, that didn't -- they didn't say that so.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not trying to imply anything by this. I'm trying to find out your state of mind with respect to what you know is being tested for, that's all.
ARMSTRONG: What's -- Yes. I think it would be fair to say, in 2000, for example, they didn't have the EPO perfected. So perhaps athletes could have taken EPO and gotten away with it. But it was great for us was that we were formerly investigated in France and all of our samples were seized at a time when you could have taken EPO because they didn't have the test ready, but all of the samples were tested with this method and were clean. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about the '99 samples that were reported in the story? I'm going to ask you some questions about that. First, obviously you've had an opportunity to review the story and the writing that was --
ARMSTRONG: I didn't read the story but --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You certainly had a translator for you, haven't you?
ARMSTRONG: The entire story?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I mean you -- you surely didn't appear on TV and talk about it and never read the whole thing?
ARMSTRONG: Of course.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
All right. Fair enough. Do you know whether or not the samples which have been identified as yours are, in fact, yours?
ARMSTRONG: I have no idea. I -- I can only believe that they -- there are not minor have been manipulated because when I pissed in the bottle, as I told you earlier, having never taken performance- enhancing drug, when I pissed in the bottle there was no EPO in the piss, or urine. As the article said, the accused cannot defend himself. So I have a clear conscience going on TV without reading the article.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. OK.
ARMSTRONG: Because the first paragraph says, oh, by the way, he cannot defend himself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I guess there's a third possibility, which is the test is just wrong, right?
ARMSTRONG: I'm not a scientist. I don't know. I know that without proper procedure and protocol that you cannot defend yourself.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. Mr. Armstrong, I want to ask you some questions regarding some sometimes that M.O. Riley has made.
First, can you identify for us who m. o. Riley is and the relationship to you was?
ARMSTRONG: She was a massage therapist on the team in '88, '89.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When did she depart the team? ARMSTRONG: I believe 2000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What was --
ARMSTRONG: I think. Yes, 2000.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What were the circumstances surrounding her departure? Did she leave voluntarily? Was she fired? Did she move on or?
ARMSTRONG: I don't recall. But I don't think it was friendly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. She has identified or said either to Mr. Walsh or to others that, at one point in time, during a Tour de France race, during a race, you asked her to dispose of some syringes. Are you familiar with her statement regarding that?
ARMSTRONG: I'm familiar with that statement.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any truth to that statement?
ARMSTRONG: Absolutely not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So I guess my question is the part about her story that's untrue, maybe it's both parts, first of all, you never asked her to dispose of any syringes?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But would you ever have had syringes on you to be disposed in connection with any race?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So it's not just that you never asked her to dispose of any syringes, there were no syringes for you to ask her to dispose of?
ARMSTRONG: No, that would be the doctor's responsibility.
MALVEAUX: Now the White House is weighing in on this scandal around Armstrong. We just heard from the spokesman, Jay Carney, in the briefing room. And he talks about what the president's impression is of all of this.
Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: I haven't spoken with him about Lance Armstrong. And I -- I know there are reports about what he said in this interview. But I haven't seen the interview yet.
What I will say is the president feels very strongly that it's inappropriate to use performance-enhancing drugs and that any steps that any individual athlete takes or organizations take to reduce their use or eliminate them are good things.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MALVEAUX: Oprah Winfrey says the reports of Lance Armstrong doping are confirmed, after years of denials. But he's not only accused of doping. Some of the strongest testimony against Armstrong came from a New Zealand cyclist, Stephen Swart. He stated in a deposition that Armstrong and members of his team offered a $50,000 bribe to Swart and his team to throw the final two legs of a series of races back in 1993. According to him, Armstrong was focused on getting $1 million bonus for whoever won all three races.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEPHEN SWART, CYCLIST: That's a business and we took it -- we took the business option.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was Mr. Armstrong present when this took place, this conversation?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he actually make the offer?
SWART: I think it was coincided with Phil's agreement, yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What happened if they didn't win? Would you get the bonus?
SWART: No, we didn't get the bonus.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you guys agree to keep this quiet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was that specifically mentioned, let's keep it quiet?
MALVEAUX: True to form, Lance Armstrong vehemently denied the allegations made by Swart. Here what happens, he said.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's an allegation by Mr. Swart regarding an effort to secure the outcome of a series of races involving you. Are you aware of that?
ARMSTRONG: I've heard the comments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there any truth to with attempting to fix the outcome of some races in which you were involved?
ARMSTRONG: No, not true.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you in fact -- he recounts three races you had to win to earn a million dollar bonus. Do you recall those three races and actually earning the million dollar bonus?
ARMSTRONG: I do.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Were you in fact paid the million dollar bonus?
ARMSTRONG: Well, it was not exactly like the lottery or like any other insurance deal. The option was $50,000 over 20 years or one time payment of another lump sum. Like any other cycling event, the money is split amongst the team. So did I receive a million dollars? No.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
ARMSTRONG: Yes. That's what I'm saying.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did you take the lump sum or --
ARMSTRONG: Yes, we took the lump sum. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. And then some of that went to you and some of that went to the team?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you remember what the lump sum was or --
ARMSTRONG: I don't remember.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. That's why you described it like the lottery. You get a discount on a lump sum.
ARMSTRONG: I think they get either a lump sum or --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK.
ARMSTRONG: -- consistent payments over X amount of years.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you know why Mr. Swart would say these things? ARMSTRONG: Like I said earlier, I have no idea why, other than like Riley he was paid for his testimony and needed the money.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But other than that, do you have any other suggestion that Mr. Riley was making up this in exchange for money, other than the fact that he received some compensation?
ARMSTRONG: M.O. received money also. Just the team, just the team -- really Johan -- because the team was afraid we were going to out her as a -- you know, the other things that she said. Primarily, I have to confess, I think it was a major issue with Johan.
MALVEAUX: You just watched Lance Armstrong's entire deposition from 2005. Coming up, how he could fully face criminal and even wire fraud charges.
ARMSTRONG: I've never taken performance-enhancing drugs. How could that happen?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's my point. It is not just simply that you don't recall --
ARMSTRONG: How many times I do have to say it?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to make sure your testimony is clear.
ARMSTRONG: If it can be any clearer that I've never taken drugs --
MALVEAUX: So what could his admission of cheating actually do to Lance Armstrong when it comes to the legal repercussions?
Our legal contributor, Paul Callan, is joining us.
Paul, first of all, there is a lot that already happened here. He's been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France by the Cycling International governing body. And you have a statement from the world Anti-Doping Agency director. It says, "Only when Mr. Armstrong makes a full confession under oath and tells anti-doping authorities all he knows about doping activities can any legal or proper process for him to seek any reopening or reconsideration of his lifetime ban commence."
So, what's next? PAUL CALLAN, CNN LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I think what's next is we first have to see precisely what he tells Oprah Winfrey in this interview. You know, she hedged a bit in some of the press accounts I saw today, saying that when he came clean, he didn't do it in the way she expected that he would. And I'm wondering if he's very careful with his words.
And the reason I say that, Suzanne, is because, depending upon what he admits to precisely in the interview, that will determine whether criminal charges could still be lodged against him. It would also determine how strong the civil cases will be against him, because, bear in mind, lots of agencies, lots of companies that used him for endorsements may now want their money back, saying it was based on a fraud. And he could face a number of lawsuits in the civil side, amounting to tens of millions of dollars.
MALVEAUX: Do they have a case? Because you're talking about companies like Nike, Anheuser-Busch. Could they get money, demand money from him?
CALLAN: I think they do have a case. And I'll just outline a couple of them. You start out, by the way, with the U.S. Postal Service team. $30 million went into financing that team. And, of course, it has been stripped of the awards that were won, largely on the basis of Lance Armstrong's performance. You could have a lawsuit for $30 million saying that that team was based on fraud, the fraudulent claims of Lance Armstrong.
There has been a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by one of the members of the team. There is a law that says, if you expose fraud, you can be compensated. The U.S. government may say Lance Armstrong should be responsible for that award.
And then you have companies, as you say, like Nike and other companies, that depended upon his good reputation to market their products. And they could claim that they have been defrauded.
So lots of potential civil lawsuits against Lance Armstrong, depending upon what he tells Oprah in that interview.
MALVEAUX: And if you're a lawyer, on either side, if you're Lance Armstrong's lawyer or you're on the anti-doping side, you're one of the agencies, these bodies looking at his record, what are you looking for in that interview?
CALLAN: Well, I'm looking for a precise admission to the use of performance-enhancing drugs and blood doping. I'm looking for him to say he actually did that. Because you notice, he rather brazenly, in that deposition that was just played, denies, and he says, I've made it clear as day I've never used performance-enhancing drugs. He denies all allegations of wrongdoing. We want to see if he makes an admission.
The second thing I'm sure his lawyers are looking at and worrying about, Suzanne, is would the Justice Department want to come back at him again. They had an investigation going in 2010-2011 that they walked away from. Now they have got egg on their face. If he steps forward and says, you know something, I lied, and I was lying all along. So will the feds want to try to reopen a mail fraud or wire fraud case against him? That's a possibility, once again, depending upon what he tells Oprah.
MALVEAUX: And, Paul, I want to talk here about the possibility of redemption here. This is an individual who raised a lot of money, I think, $470 million for those when it comes to fighting cancer. And was an inspiration for a lot of folks being a cancer survivor. Does he have a sense, does he have a chance here of redeeming himself?
CALLAN: Well, I think Americans always are generous in forgiving, particularly people who do charitable work and help people who are in need.
What is interesting, I find, about Lance Armstrong, though, is there is a duality to his personality. As you saw in that deposition, he excoriates his fellow team members, anybody who dared to criticize him, and who maybe those team members were actually telling the truth. So you have that side of him, which might be a very deceptive, deceitful side. And then you have this generous side responsible for the charitable works. So you kind of have to look at the whole man ultimately and decide whether he's worthy of redemption and whether he's worthy of being rehabilitated.
MALVEAUX: A lot of people will be trying to make that determination themselves and watching that interview closely.
Paul Callan, thank you so much, Paul. Appreciate it.
That's it for me. "CNN NEWSROOM continues with Brooke Baldwin.