Frazer Harrison / Getty Images
Armstrong and ex-fiance Sheryl Crow arrive at the 2004 Billboard Music Awards on December 8, 2004 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Lance Armstrong won seven Tour de France cycling titles in a career that made him a superstar. But he was dogged by allegations of doping, and last year he was stripped of his titles after a scathing report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Here are some of the key people in the Armstrong story:
Singer Sheryl Crow, Armstrong’s ex-fiancé, was with him during two Tours. She was interviewed by federal agents in late 2011 and allegedly provided information to aid in the doping investigation, the New York Daily News reported. According to people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal reported, Crow knew many details about doping on the team and was helpful in the USADA investigation, but didn’t give an affidavit to the organization.
In an interview with Katie Couric after Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles, Crow said she still supported her ex-fiancé.
“I know how hard he worked to win those titles, and you know, it was hard to watch,” Crow said. “I felt bad. I felt bad for him, I felt bad for his family and I kinda felt like the rest of America. He is a hero that we watched and looked up to and admire.”
The New York Times via Redux Pictures
Emma O' Reilly, the former soigneur for the USPS cycling team, of which Lance Armstrong was once a member, at her home in Lymm, England, on Oct. 12, 2012.
Emma O’Reilly was the U.S. Postal cycling team’s soigneur, responsible for massaging the cyclists, laundering clothes, booking hotel rooms and preparing food. O’Reilly, an Irish woman, has said she became a regular player in the team’s doping program during the 1999 Tour de France, transporting doping materials across borders, disposing of drugs and syringes and distributing performance-enhancing substances to the team’s riders, she told The New York Times. Ultimately, she would provide key evidence to the USADA’s investigation into Armstrong’s doping.
O’Reilly said she was contacted by journalist David Walsh to be a source for his book about Armstrong, "LA Confidential," in which she described an incident when she heard the team worrying about Armstrong’s positive test for steroids during the Tour. She said, “They were in a panic, saying, ‘What are we going to do? What are we going to do?’”
According to O’Reilly, the solution was to get one of their doctors to issue a pre-dated prescription for a steroid-based ointment to combat saddle sores. O’Reilly said that Armstrong told her: “Now, Emma, you know enough to bring me down.”
Francois Mori / AP file
Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Travis Tygart attends a symposium called "The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight against Doping : New Partnerships for Clean Sport" in Paris on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012.
Travis Tygart is the head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, which accused Armstrong in June 2012 of doping, a charge that Armstrong said he was done contesting in August 2012.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."
His submission to the charges led the agency to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. In an interview with CBC, Tygart said he was not surprised by Armstrong’s confession.
“We heard the evidence, we heard the stories from athletes,” Tygart said. “And it supported, without question, every allegation that … now has been shown to be true.”
In an interview with the French newspaper L'Équipe, Tygart said that he had received three death threats since the beginning of the Armstrong investigation and that security had been tightened around him by the FBI. Tygart was also previously involved in the investigation of Floyd Landis, a cyclist who accused Armstrong of doping.
Stephen Lam / Reuters
Federal agent Jeff Novitzky arrives for former San Francisco Giants baseball player Barry Bonds' criminal trial at Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco on March 28, 2011.
Jeff Novitzky, an agent for the Food and Drug Administration, led a team of attorneys from 2010 to 2012 that investigated Armstrong for allegations of doping in his Tour de France wins. In May 2010, the New York Daily News reported that Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis was cooperating with the probe.
The investigation involved taking statements under oath from Armstrong and his former teammates and requesting blood samples from the French anti-doping agency. The probe was terminated in early February 2012 with no charges filed, the Associated Press reported.
In the past, Novitzky investigated alleged performance-enhancing drug use by other athletes, including Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Marion Jones.
Mike Powell / Getty Images file
Frankie Andreu of the U.S. Postal Service Team rides uphill during Stage 14, Draguignan to Briancon, France of the Tour de France on July 15, 2000.
Frankie Andreu was a captain of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team along with Lance Armstrong in 1998, 1999 and 2000. In 2006, Andreu and his wife, Betsy, who were close friends with the Armstrongs, testified in court that they heard Armstrong tell cancer doctors in 1996 that he had used EPO, growth hormones and steroids. Armstrong swore under oath that it didn’t happen.
The Andreus’ testimony was related to litigation between Armstrong and SCA Promotions, a Texas company attempting to withhold a $5 million bonus. Armstrong eventually won a settlement deal out of court in February 2006, and SCA paid him and Tailwind Sports $7.5 million to cover the bonus plus lawyers' fees.
He later told reporters that Betsy Andreu may have been confused by the possible mention of a post-operative treatment that included steroids and EPO, which can be taken to counteract the effects of chemotherapy.
In an interview with The New York Times in 2006, Andreu admitted that he had taken EPO to help prepare for the 1999 Tour de France.
In 2012, the Andreus participated in the USADA investigation into Armstrong’s doping practices, testifying along with 24 other witnesses, including former teammates. In the USADA’s 200-page decision, the hospital room incident was covered in great detail.
Getty Images file
Cyclist Floyd Landis is seen during the arbitration hearing of the 2006 Tour de France champion at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., on May 23, 2007.
Floyd Landis is a retired cyclist who was stripped of his own 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Landis admitted to doping in May 2010 and accused Armstrong of doping in 2002 and 2003. He also said in an interview with ABC's "Nightline" that he witnessed Armstrong receive multiple blood transfusions and dispense testosterone patches to his teammates on the U.S. Postal Service team.
His confession and accusations were detailed in a series of emails he sent to senior cycling and anti-doping officials in 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported. The U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into Landis’ claims soon after, which eventually led to the USADA investigation of Armstrong and the 2012 decision to strip him of his Tour de France titles.
In 2010, Landis filed a suit against the U.S. Postal Service team, alleging it defrauded the federal government by taking sponsorship money from the U.S. Postal Service while riders were doping, the Wall Street Journal reported. All whistleblower lawsuits are kept under seal, and neither the DOJ nor Landis have acknowledged the suit’s existence or allegations.
Of her sit-down with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey called it the "biggest" interview she has ever done.
Oprah Winfrey snagged what she has described as the “biggest” interview she has ever done: a sit-down with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Winfrey grilled Armstrong for two and a half hours over his use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Oprah appeared on CBS Tuesday morning to talk about the interview. She said she thought “the entire interview was difficult” for Armstrong, but he that “was pretty forthcoming.” She would not say, however, what exactly Armstrong said ahead of the session’s airing on the OWN network.
Tune in to TODAY Friday for an exclusive live interview with Livestrong CEO Doug Ulman.
Oprah: Armstrong 'forthcoming' in interview about drug use