|Michael McCann on D&C: Lance Armstrong ‘could lose all’ of his fortune||03.07.13 at 10:30 am ET|
Sports Illustrated legal analyst and writer Michael McCann talked with Dennis & Callahan on Thursday morning about his recent three-hour meeting with Lance Armstrong.
McCann flew to Austin, Texas, to meet Armstrong at his home and discuss the ongoing legal situations facing the former cyclist who had his record seven Tour De France titles stripped.
“I think [he wanted to meet] just to talk about his life,” McCann said. “I’m a different voice. I’m somebody who doesn’t work for him. I’m somebody who he knows about his career and that he could talk to me and I agreed that it would be mostly off the record, and because of that I felt that he could trust me in that regard. He also, I think, expected that I would be able to write about him in a way that wasn’t slanted against him. But he also knew that because my job is really to be as fair as possible, I will criticize him, and I think my piece reflects that.”
McCann initially came into contact with Armstrong when Armstrong started following him on Twitter. McCann eventually suggested meeting with Armstrong, but not without some hesitation.
“I was concerned about a couple of things,” McCann said. “One is that this whole thing was a hoax. Manti Te’o, all of that. I was going to fly down there and it was going to be no one, or somebody saying ‘We’ve got you.’ … I thought, look, if that’s true, so what? People go on business trips all the time and don’t get business. In that regard, going down to Austin for a flight and coming back isn’t the end of the world. So I didn’t think that was such a big deal.
“But I was worried that this was going to be some type of PR vehicle to express his views about everything. But I wasn’t as worried about that as the conversation went on because I did ask him some questions that I think that were relatively tough. Some of his answers were believable, others I think have to be checked out.”
|Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o most disliked athletes in national poll||02.07.13 at 7:51 am ET|
THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Lakers at Celtics, 8 p.m. (TNT; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Bulls at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (WGN, TNT)
College basketball: Clemson at Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Indiana at Illinois, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Old Dominion at Drexel, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)
College basketball: Belmont at Murray State, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Washington at UCLA, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Missouri at Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Colorado at Oregon, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Saint Mary’s at Santa Clara, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
NHL: Capitals at Penguins, 7 p.m. (NHL Network)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ According to a Neilsen/E-poll survey sponsored by Forbes magazine, Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o are America’s most disliked athletes.
Both Armstrong and Te’o appeal to just 15 percent of the public.
“The Oprah [Winfrey] interview hurt [Armstrong],” Nielsen senior vice president of sports Stephen Master said. “He came off as pompous, arrogant and unapologetic.”
As for Te’o, “The story was just so creepy,” Master said.
Rounding out the list are golfer Tiger Woods (19 percent appeal), Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (21), Lakers guard Metta World Peace (21), Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez (22), Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (23), NASCAR driver Kurt Busch (27), Lakers guard Kobe Bryant (27) and Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (27).
♦ In a strange story out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a top running back recruit abruptly canceled his signing day announcement at his high school Wednesday, reportedly because his mother took his letter of intent and went home, unhappy that he wanted to attend Arkansas.
Andrea McDonald wanted her son, Alex Collins, to stay closer to home and sign with Miami, and she refused to sign the papers. Collins announced in a TV appearance on Monday night that he was going to Arkansas, changing his earlier stance.
Said Collins’ older brother, Johnny: “She’s having anxiety. I know she preferred him to go to UM. Alex had said he was going to the U, and then all of a sudden he changes his mind. We found out he was going to Arkansas on TV.
“They still needed her signature. You can’t sign yourself over. It’s in black and white. But I didn’t expect any of this to happen. I’m as confused as everyone else.”
♦ The 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics baseball card discovered by a Maine man at a yard sale was auctioned Wednesday for $92,000. The Library of Congress said last month that it has the only other known copy of the team photograph, considered to be the first dated baseball card.
Neither the seller or buyer were identified, but Saco River Auction Co. manager/auctioneer Troy Thibodeau expressed satisfaction with the outcome.
“We’re happy with it and consigner is happy with it,” Thibodeau said.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 7, 1999, which Patriots defensive player was named co-MVP of the Pro Bowl after helping the AFC to a 23-10 victory?
|Report: Lance Armstrong under federal investigation for witness tampering||02.06.13 at 8:51 am ET|
Federal investigators are conducting an active criminal investigation of Lance Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation, ABC News reported.
Last year, the U.S. attorney for Southern California unexpectedly dropped a two-year investigation of Armstrong for crimes reportedly including drug distribution, fraud and conspiracy. At the time, sources said that agents had recommended an indictment of Armstrong and were unsure of why the case was dropped.
According to the ABC report, the federal investigators’ concern now is not Armstrong’s drug use, but his alleged efforts to conceal that drug use by threatening and interfering with potential witnesses.
Armstrong confessed to lying and using performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. To end his lifetime ban from competition, though, he would have to confess under oath before investigators by Feb. 6.
|Friday’s Morning Mashup: Emotionless Lance Armstrong admits being ‘flawed character’||01.18.13 at 8:06 am ET|
FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NBA: Thunder at Mavericks, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Stony Brook at Vermont, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Fairfield at Iona, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College hockey: Harvard at Yale, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Lance Armstrong admitted to cheating, but he did it on his terms. Showing little to no emotion or contrition and offering few details, the cycling legend acknowledged during his interview with Oprah Winfrey that he cheated in all seven of his victories at the Tour de France.
“I’m a flawed character,” Armstrong said.
However, Armstrong insisted his taking performance-enhancing drugs and doping only put him on par with other cyclists.
“I went and looked up the definition of cheat,” he said. “And the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn’t view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”
As for all the people — especially former teammates and support crew — he attacked when they tried to tell the truth, Armstrong offered no public apology, although he said he has reached out to some of his victims. He attributed his behavior to his competitiveness.
“It’s a major flaw, and it’s a guy who expected to get whatever he wanted and to control every outcome. And it’s inexcusable,” Armstrong said. “And when I say there are people who will hear this and never forgive me, I understand that. I do. … That defiance, that attitude, that arrogance, you cannot deny it.”
♦ Notre Dame star Manti Te’o said in Wednesday night’s statement that he’s focused on the NFL draft, but the girlfriend hoax that was revealed this week might turn out to be a problem for prospective clubs.
“I think some teams will say it isn’t worth the problem,” said NFL draft consultant Gil Brandt, who has Te’o rated 19th overall following the linebacker’s disappointing performance in the national championship game.
“I don’t think anybody considered him to be a top-five pick before all this happened,” Brandt said. “In that game against Alabama, this was like a guy who was the best shooter in the world in basketball and here comes a game and he can’t even hit the backboard. His play in that game was absolutely horrible. He missed on run blitzes; guys ran over him …”
Meanwhile, a minor league baseball team in Kentucky, the Florence Freedom, announced that it would have a Manti Te’o Girlfriend Bobblehead Day in May. The first 1,000 fans will receive an empty bobble head box, there will be a pretend kiss cam for fans to kiss their imaginary friends, and there will be an imaginary food fight in the kids’ area.
♦ Al Pacino has been been tabbed to play Joe Paterno in a movie about the late Penn State coach that’s based on Joe Posnanski‘s recent biography. Brian De Palma, who directed Pacino in “Scarface” and “Carlito’s Way,” will direct the film, tentatively titled “Paterno.”
“I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” producer Edward R. Pressman said in a statement.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Jan. 18, 1973, the Red Sox signed their first designated hitter, with the position set to debut that season. Which veteran was obtained to fill that role?
|IOC asks Lance Armstrong to return 2000 bronze medal||01.17.13 at 11:30 am ET|
Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his bronze medal from the 2000 Olympics because of doping. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) sent a letter to Armstrong on Wednesday night asking him to return the medal.
The IOC previously discussed revoking the medal in December but waited until cycling’s governing body notified Armstrong he had been stripped of his seven Tour De France titles. Following that action, he had 21 days to appeal the decision. The 21 days passed, so the IOC decided to take the medal away.
“Having had confirmation from UCI [International Cycling Union] that Armstrong has not appealed the decision to disqualify him from Sydney, we have written to him to ask for the return of the bronze medal,” IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. “We have also written to [U.S. Olympic Committee] to inform them of the decision.”
The first part of Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he confesses to using performance-enhancing drugs, is scheduled to be televised Thursday night on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
|WADA: Lance Armstrong must confess under oath for ban to be reconsidered||01.16.13 at 10:43 am ET|
Although his public confession to Oprah Winfrey will air this week, Lance Armstrong can’t hope to have his lifetime ban from competition lifted unless he confesses under oath to doping, according to anti-doping officials.
“He’s got to follow a certain course,” David Howman, director general of World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), told The Associated Press. “That is not talking to a talk show host.”
There has been speculation that Armstrong indeed intends to cooperate with the agency and name other cyclists who used performance-enhancing drugs to help his own case. By all accounts, Armstrong was the ringleader of a vast network of doping in cycling, and thereby could be instrumental in beginning to clean up the sport.
“Lance knows everything that happened,” said Frankie Andreu, one of his former teammates. “He’s the one who knows who did what because he was the ringleader. It’s up to him how much he wants to expose.”
Armstrong retired from cycling in 2011 but could still compete in triathlons if the ban were lifted. He’s been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and lost most of his endorsements over the last year.
Armstrong’s confession to Winfrey will air on her OWN network on Thursday and Friday. Beyond that, he will need to cooperate with the anti-doping agencies and present evidence of his claims to move toward an end to his ban. The International Cycling Union also has encouraged Armstrong to testify before an independent commission it has set up to investigate claims that, among other things, it helped Armstrong avoid failing doping tests.
|Oprah Winfrey confirms Lance Armstrong’s confession||01.15.13 at 11:34 am ET|
Oprah Winfrey appeared on “CBS This Morning” Tuesday and confirmed that Lance Armstrong admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during their interview on Monday.
“Emotional doesn’t begin to describe the intensity or difficulty [for Armstrong] in talking about these things,” Winfrey said.
Added Winfrey: “I would say he did not come clean in the manner I expected. It was surprising to me … for myself, for my team, all of us in the room. We were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers.”
Armstrong, once considered a heroic, inspirational seven-time Tour De France winner, now generally is viewed as a disgraceful cheater, and his seven Tour de France championships have been stripped.
Olympic cyclist Nicole Cooke said that Armstrong “robbed people of their dreams.”
Just a few short hours before meeting with Winfrey, Armstrong apologized for the long-time controversy to about 100 members of Livestrong, the charity that he founded in 1997 that helps cancer patients and their families. Livestrong spokesman Katherine McLane described Armstrong’s speech as “heartfelt and sincere.”
One of the first people to publicly accuse Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs was the wife of his former teammate Frankie Andreu. Betsy Andreu said of Armstrong’s confession: “He used to be one of my husband’s best friends, and because [Frankie] wouldn’t go along with the doping, he got kicked to the side. Lance could have had a positive impact if he tells the truth on everything. He’s got to be completely honest.”
Winfrey’s interview with Armstrong is scheduled to be televised in two parts, beginning on Thursday night and concluding on Friday on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
|Cycling’s governing body agrees to ban Lance Armstrong for life, remove Tour de France titles||10.22.12 at 8:32 am ET|
The governing body of cycling announced Monday that it would accept the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s report on Lance Armstrong‘s doping and strip the Texan of his seven Tour de France titles as well as ban him from the sport for life.
It is now up to the Tour de France to officially erase Armstrong’s name from the record books. The race’s director, Christian Prudhomme, previously said he would go along with whatever the International Cycling Union (UCI) decided. The race is expected to have no official winners for the years 1999 through 2005.
Armstrong continues to deny the accusations of doping despite the USADA’s report that included statements from 11 former teammates. However, he decided not to challenge the report, insisting the process was biased against him.
Armstrong made a public appearance Sunday, greeting about 4,300 cyclists in Texas at a fundraising ride for the Livestrong charity he founded.
“I’ve been better, but I’ve also been worse,” Armstrong told the crowd.
|Lance Armstrong loses Nike sponsorship, steps down as Livestrong chairman||10.17.12 at 9:52 am ET|
On the same day that Nike revealed that it has ended its endorsement deal with Lance Armstrong , the cycling legend announced that he is stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong charity he founded to fight cancer.
“This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart,” Armstrong said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. “Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.”
Armstrong will remain on the 15-member board, which will be chaired by vice chairman Jeff Garvey, who was founding chairman in 1997.
Nike helped raise $80 million for the foundation through the sale of Livestrong-branded merchandise, particularly yellow wristbands.
The company said in a statement that it was terminating Armstrong’s contract “with great sadness,” adding: “Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance-enhancing drugs in any manner.”
According to ESPN, Nike also plans to change the name of the fitness center it named for Armstrong at its headquarters/campus in Beaverton, Ore.
Armstrong, a cancer survivor who won the Tour de France seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005, continues to deny accusations of doping despite being banned for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
|Lance Armstrong sues doping agency to block charges||07.09.12 at 1:47 pm ET|
Lance Armstrong filed a federal lawsuit Monday aimed at preventing the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) from proceeding with charges that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
According to The Associated Press, Armstrong’s lawsuit claims USADA rules violate athletes’ constitutional right to a fair trial, and the agency doesn’t have jurisdiction in his case. It also accuses USADA’s chief executive, Travis Tygart, of waging a personal vendetta against Armstrong, who won the Tour de France every year from 1999 to 2005.
USADA, created in 2000 and recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States, formally charged Armstrong in June with taking performance-enhancing drugs as well as participating in a widespread doping conspiracy on his Tour de France-winning teams, some of which were sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.
According to the AP, Armstrong asked the court to issue an injunction by Saturday, the deadline he faces to formally challenge the case in USADA’s arbitration process or accept sanctions. He could receive a lifetime ban from cycling and be stripped of his record seven Tour de France victories if found guilty.
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