In this latest edition of WADA Talks, we sat down with Frankie Andreu, former United States Postal Service team cyclist and whistleblower in the Lance Armstrong case. Frankie is also the husband of WADA Play True Champion Betsy Andreu, who urged him to come clean about his use of performance enhancing drugs and denounce the doping program he and his former team mates Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis were signed up to.
On taking banned substances Andreu said: “At the time, you felt like you didn’t have a choice because it seemed like everyone was doing it. Ultimately, it was my decision and I did have a choice, but ‘no’ meant I had to go home, and ‘yes’ meant I had to take EPO to stay in the peloton.”
“As a cyclist in the 90s, you felt trapped” he said.
When asked what he would do differently if he could turn back the clock, he said: “Back in 1993 or 1995 if there was somewhere you could turn to alleviate the pressure to dope, I would go in that direction.”
“Today, the mentality of journalists, fans, even athletes and managers has changed. Before it was tolerated, now it’s not the case and I think it has to do with the work that USADA and WADA has done,” he continued.
Talking of his life after cycling, he admitted he still has a degree of suspicion when he watches cycling on television: “It would be naïve not to be suspicious; but there is a new crop of younger riders that are not doping and want a clean environment, and that’s the most important job that WADA and USADA are doing right now.”
WADA Talks sees the agency’s Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Ben Nichols, interviewing leading figures from the athlete community, sport, government and other partners involved in the clean sport movement.