Friend Denies Hearing Lance Armstrong Admit to Illegal Drug Use

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    RODEZ, FRANCE - JULY 17: Lance Armstrong of the USA and Team Radioshack signs on at the start of stage thirteen of the 2010 Tour de France from Rodez to Revel on July 17, 2010 in Revel, France. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

    Lance Armstrong's denials that he had ever used performancing enhancing drugs received a boost from a close personal friend, reports ESPN.

    Thomas H. Bienert Jr. says his that his client, Stephanie McIlvain, told a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on Wednesday that she had never heard the star cyclist admit to using performance-enhancing drugs and that she had not been pressured by Armstrong to lie about what she had seen.

    McIlvain's testimony is important to Armstrong's defense since her statements directly contradict thost made by one of Lance's former teammate, Frankie Andreu. Andreu and his wife Betsy were in a hospitial room with Armstrong in 1996 while he was being treated for cancer and contest that he admitted to doctors that he used P.E.D.s. McIlvain was also in the hospital room at the time of the alleged statements.

    Armstrong strongly denies that he ever cheated or made such a statement and previous testimony from McIlvain in a civil case tracks with what she told the grand jury.

    But a secretly taped conversation by former Tour winner and Armstrong detractor Greg LeMond, McIlvain seemed more ambivalent, saying that she had heard the conversation in the hospital room but she did not recall what was said.

    McIlvain served as Armstrong's liaison at sunglass-maker Oakley, which was one of his main sponsors during his record seven Tour de France wins.

    Selected Reading: ESPN, NY Daily News, Sports Illustrated