Lance Armstrong for years has denied allegations that he confessed to cancer doctors about using performance-enhancing drugs.
The allegations, never proved, did not diminish the seven-time Tour de France winner as he built his sporting legend beyond cycling to become a leader in the fight against cancer and inspiring trust and hope through his “Livestrong” foundation.
Now, one of his close associates, Stephanie McIlvain, has been summoned to appear before a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on Wednesday to clarify what he said to those doctors. McIlvain, a longtime liaison to Armstrong for Oakley Inc., one of his major sponsors, was there.
In a 2005 deposition in an unrelated civil case, McIlvain testified she never heard Armstrong admit anything about using performance-enhancing drugs in that hospital room in 1996.
In a secretly recorded telephone chat with former Tour de France champion Greg LeMond — allegedly conducted a year earlier — McIlvain is asked about the hospital incident and tells LeMond she heard “it,” though she never specifies what “it” is. The recording is in the hands of federal prosecutors and The Times has reviewed it.