Frankie Andreu

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Frankie Andreu
Frankie Andreu Ron Kiefel 1991 Thrift Drug Classic.jpg
Frankie Andreu and Ron Kiefel (l-r) race the 1991 Thrift Drug Classic
Personal information
Full name Frankie Andreu
Born (1966-09-26) September 26, 1966 (age 48)
Dearborn, Michigan, United States
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight 78 kg (172 lb; 12.3 st)[1]
Team information
Discipline Road
Role Rider
Rider type Sprinter
Professional team(s)
1989
1989–1990
1991–1996
1997
1998–2000
Wheaties - Schwinn
7 Eleven
Motorola
Cofidis
U.S. Postal Service cycling team
Major wins
Stage 5 Tour du Luxembourg (1998)
Infobox last updated on
May 29, 2013

Frankie Andreu (born September 26, 1966) is a former professional cyclist whose career highlights include riding as team captain of the U.S. Postal Service cycling team along with Lance Armstrong in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He also finished fourth in the Olympics Road Race in Atlanta, and won stages in some races. Andreu played a role in the USADA's investigation of Armstrong's doping practices by testifying in the case.[2]

Biography[edit]

Cycling career[edit]

Frankie Andreu was born September 26, 1966 in Dearborn, Michigan. He began his cycling career in track cycling, winning the individual pursuit during the 1984 Junior National Track Cycling Championships in Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. In 1985, he placed first in the Madison during the National Track Cycling Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. and second in the points race and team pursuit. In 1988, Andreu qualified to represent the United States Cycling Team in Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea where he placed eighth in the points race.

Andreu moved from track cycling to road cycling after signing to the 7-Eleven Pro Cycling Team in 1989 when he finished his first professional stage race, the Giro d'Italia. His highest finish in the Tour de France was second during the 18th stage of the 1993 race where he was teammates with a young Lance Armstrong on the Motorola Pro Cycling Team. Andreu finished fourth in the road race during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.[3]

He is best remembered by the professional cycling community for his role as a "super domestique," particularly for sacrificing personal gain for the benefit of other teammates during many races.

Performance Enhancing Drug use[edit]

In an interview with the New York Times in September 2006, Andreu admitted that he had taken EPO to help prepare for the 1999 Tour de France.[4] Andreu said he was introduced to Performance-enhancing drugs in 1995 while he was riding for Motorola.[5]

Frankie Andreu gave more details in his September 2012 USADA affidavit declaring he used EPO in 1998 as he traveled preparing for the 1999 Tour. Andreu declared he knowingly received EPO injections in 1999 after races by the USPS Team doctor, Dr. del Moral. In 1999 immediately after the Tour de France, his wife Betsy, found a thermos with EPO in their refrigerator. Betsy questioned Andreu about the drugs and was very upset. In a signed affidavit to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Frankie Andreu testified he responded to his wife by saying, "You don't understand. This is the only way I can keep up in the Tour."

Andreu continued to ride strongly for the USPS Team in 2000, and continuing as the assistant director of the USPS team in both 2001 and 2002. [6]

Armstrong testimony[edit]

In 2005, Andreu and his wife Betsy testified that Lance Armstrong told cancer doctors in their presence in 1996 he had doped with EPO (Erythropoietin), growth hormone and steroids. The Andreus' testimony was intended to remain sealed in court documents and is among thousands of pages of documents related to litigation between Armstrong and a Texas-based company that was attempting to withhold a $5-million bonus. Armstrong swore under oath it didn't happen. Frankie Andreu never offered information to media sources on the topic until court documents were released. He then stood by his testimony when giving interviews.[7] A settlement was reached in February 2006 before the three-person arbitration panel made a ruling. As part of the settlement, SCA Promotions paid Armstrong and Tailwind Sports $7.5 million, to cover the $5-million bonus plus interest and lawyers' fees. In a statement, Armstrong said, "It's over. We won. They lost. I was yet again completely vindicated." Armstrong's statement also suggested that Betsy Andreu may have been confused by possible mention of his post-operative treatment which included steroids and EPO that are routinely taken to counteract wasting and red-blood-cell destroying effects of intensive chemotherapy.[8] In that period of time, the Andreus received threatening messages on their answering machine left by Stephanie McIlvain, the Oakley representative for Armstrong.[9] In one of them, she stated that she hopes someone "breaks a baseball bat over your [Betsy's] head", among other threats.[10] In 2012, the Andreus participated in the USADA investigation into Armstrong's doping practices, testifying along with 24 other witnesses, including former Armstrong teammates.[11] Armstrong did not contest the doping charges, was banned for life from competing and was stripped of all results from August 1, 1998 onward, including his seven Tour de France titles.[12] In the USADA's 200 page "Reasoned decision", the hospital room incident where the Andreus heard Armstrong say to his doctor that he took performance-enhancing drugs was covered in great details in the "Addendum Part 2", and showed strong evidence that the Andreus were truthful in their accounting of the event.[13]

In a January 2013 interview, Lance Armstrong finally admitted that he had used performance enhancing drugs for much of his professional career, including all seven of his Tour de France wins. In response to being asked if the 1996 claims by the Andreus were true, he responded; "Uh-uh, I’m just gonna take that on. I’m laying down on that one".[14] He also admitted to describing Betsy as a "crazy bitch".[15]

Post-racing career[edit]

Andreu has served as a bicycle race commentator for Universal Sports on the Versus television network since retiring from professional cycling in 2001 and remains active in domestic pro racing, often lending his voice and knowledge announcing for professional races.

In 2007, Andreu became the director of Rock Racing, but resigned in January 2008 stating differences "with business strategies and the direction the team is headed".[16] When Andreu started out with Rock Racing, he described in a Cycling News interview how attitudes in cycling had changed, and that it was no longer acceptable to use drugs.[17] A year later, it was clear that there were differences between him and the owner of Rock & Republic jeans, Michael Ball. Andreu was unhappy that his role as a director was being undermined; in some instances, he was not consulted before riders were signed. Many of the riders, including Tyler Hamilton, Santiago Botero, Oscar Sevilla and Mario Cipollini, were involved in or linked to drug investigations in cycling. This raised eyebrows, especially when aligned with Ball's "win or you're fired" mentality.[18]

"Rider choices, sponsor choices, the way they were handling the prospective sponsors... they are an aggressive team and everything they do is aggressive. The cycling community is small and to me it is important to keep friends and not win at all costs."

Andreu was working with the American women's cycling team, Proman, in 2008. The team hoped to draw attention to women's cycle racing with Andreu's leadership.[19]

In 2010, Andreu took the position of directeur sportif for the Kenda Pro Cycling team,[20] a UCI Continental team sponsored by 5-hour Energy.[21]

Andreu was also identified as the only American that Lance Armstrong would allow to interview him in Alex Gibney's documentary The Armstrong Lie.

Palmarès[edit]

1991
8th Overall Ruta del Sol
8th Paris-Tours
1992
7th Tour du Haut-Var
1993
7th Het Volk
1994
1st Stage 7 Tour of Poland
9th Paris–Roubaix
1996
4th Olympics Road Race
1997
1st Stage 6 Mi-Août Bretonne
1998
1st Lancaster Classic
1st Stage 5 Tour du Luxembourg
2000
8th Overall Paris–Nice

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Résumé". frankieandreu.com. 
  2. ^ Brent Schrotenboer (11 October 2012). "USADA releases massive evidence vs. Lance Armstrong". USAToday (Gannett 2012). Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  3. ^ "Men's Olympic Road Race". cyclingnews.com. July 1996. 
  4. ^ Macur, Juliet (September 12, 2006). "2 Ex-Teammates of Cycling Star Admit Drug Use". New York Times. Retrieved May 2, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Former US Postal riders admit EPO use". Cyclingnews.com. September 12, 2006. 
  6. ^ Andreu, Frankie (September 18, 2012). "2 Andreu, Frankie Affidavit to USADA". http://usada.org/. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  7. ^ VeloNews | Papers charge Armstrong admitted doping | The Journal of Competitive Cycling
  8. ^ VeloNews | Armstrong issues statement | The Journal of Competitive Cycling
  9. ^ Matthew Beaudin (25 October 2012). "Vindicated: Betsy and Frankie Andreu talk Armstrong". Velo News (2012 Competitor Group, Inc.). Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Martha Kelner (13 October 2012). "Threatened with a baseball bat, the whistleblower Armstrong called a fat, ugly liar". MailOnline (London: Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "USADA's Armstrong probe produces 200 pages, 26 witnesses". CBC (CBC.ca). The Associated Press. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  12. ^ "UCI strips Armstrong of Tour de France titles". ESPN UK (ESPN EMEA Ltd). 22 October 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Reasoned Decision". USADA. Retrieved 21 November 2012. 
  14. ^ "Lance Armstrong angers accuser Betsy Andreu, who believes cyclist's interview with Oprah Winfrey comes up short". Daily News (New York). 
  15. ^ Gibson, Owen (18 January 2013). "Lance Armstrong drugs confession leaves Andreu and O'Reilly sceptical". The Guardian (London). 
  16. ^ Charles Pelkey (Velo News). "Andreu leaves Rock Racing".  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ "An interview with Frankie Andreu: The future is bright". cyclingnews.com. September 1, 2007. 
  18. ^ Mark Zalewski (January 6, 2008). "Rifts in Rock Racing over controversial big-name signings". cyclingnews.com. 
  19. ^ "First Edition Cycling News: Andreu, BMC to support women's Proman squad for Philly". cyclingnews.com. June 5, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Frankie Andreu to direct Team Kenda Pro Cycling". velonews.com. October 16, 2009. 
  21. ^ 5-hour Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team

External links[edit]