Update 3/17: Now the entire deposition is available here.
Now that we’ve gained a reputation for being a cycling WikiLeaks, strange things show up on our doorstep. These clips of Lance Armstrong’s SCA deposition came to us from a Tristan Zook of the firm of Grey Manrod Associates. According to Mr. Zook, these videos are fair game because Mr. Armstrong forfeited any claims of confidentiality by bragging about winning the SCA case in the media.
First, some context. Tailwind Sports had taken out an insurance policy with SCA Promotions to cover a $5 million performance bonus for Armstrong winning the 2004 Tour. However, when David Walsh and Pierre Ballester’s book L.A. Confidentiel came out, SCA refused to pay, claiming that Armstrong voided the contract by doping to win. The trial pitted the LeMonds and the Andreus against Armstrong, Ed Coyle and Michael Ashenden testified as expert witnesses for and against Armstrong. The arbitrator eventually ruled in favor of Armstrong and Tailwind Sports on the grounds that the contract between them had no stipulations about doping, rendering most of the testimony in the trial moot. Armstrong would claim the judgment a vindication despite the fact that it had nothing to do with doping.
So why did SCA CEO Bob Hamman, a champion contract bridge player, press on quixotically despite having an unwinnable case (the settlement would cost him an additional $2.5 million in interest and fees)? Did he simply want to air Armstrong’s dirty laundry out of spite? Or did he think that he’d recoup his money someday if, say, the DOJ were to launch an investigation? One thing is for sure: the SCA trial galvanized the pro and anti Armstrong camps, setting the stage for the battle that still rages on today. For example, Betsy Andreu, while no fan of Armstrong, had refused to cooperate for L.A. Confidentiel, and was forced to testify in the SCA case. Armstrong called Andreu a liar in the trial, thereby making her one of his most outspoken critics. She would go on to cooperate with Walsh for his next book, From Lance to Landis.
So here are the clips from Armstrong’s deposition in the case, obviously edited by someone prejudiced against Armstrong. Depending on your perspective, they either show someone speaking the truth or committing perjury.
Clip #1 is Armstrong discussing Frankie Andreu’s deposition. Fun historical tidbit: Armstrong had shown up for the Andreu’s depositions, intending on sitting in on Frankie’s session. The order was reversed, however, and he ended up attending Betsy’s session instead. The attempted intimidation backfired.
In the first part of the clip the questioner is reading from a transcript of a conversation that took place at the ’04 Tour, where Armstrong agent Bill Stapleton and friend Bart Knaggs spoke with Frankie in an attempt to ascertain whether Betsy was interviewed for L.A. Confidentiel. They also attempted to get Betsy to sign a statement to discredit Walsh.
Clip #2 and #3 are titled ‘LA Logic’ by Mr. Zook.
Clip #4, Armstrong knew Betsy Andreu very little, she hates him.
Clip #5, on why Frankie would agree with Betsy.
Clip #6. Armstrong took the unusual step of contacting Stephanie McIlvain, Frankie Andreu, and James Startt before their depositions. In Andreu’s case, Armstrong contacted him after a 2 1/2 year silence to warn Andreu that his doctor Craig Nichols would testify that the hospital room incident never happened, in contradiction to what Armstrong believed Andreu would attest to. Armstrong is asked about his contact with Andreu here.
Clip #7, Armstrong is asked about his contact with McIlvain before her deposition. He claims they spoke of her cancer stricken neighbor and nothing more.
Clip #8, the oath.
Last clip, Armstrong is asked why he contacted Frankie Andreu.
I guess this was inevitable. The music video.