Lance Armstrong Takes Down Anti '60-Minutes' Web Site
Lance Armstrong and his lawyers have taken down a Web site they set up to debunk a 60 Minutes expose that claimed the cyclist used performance-enhancing drugs, which he has denied.
“Now that the heart of the 60 Minutes story has been completely debunked by subsequent revelations, there's no need for the CBS-focused site any longer,” Armstrong's lawyer, Mark Fabiani, told CyclingNews.com of facts4lance.com. “The centerpiece of the 60 Minutes allegation has now been completely destroyed, and we are evaluating all our options.”
When approached for comment, a rep for CBS News pointed The Hollywood Reporter to a statement news chief Jeff Fager made on June 1: "60 Minutes stands by its story as truthful, accurate and fair. Lance Armstrong and his lawyers were given numerous opportunities to respond to every detail of our reporting for weeks prior to the broadcast and their written responses were fairly and accurately included in the story. Mr. Armstrong still has not addressed charges by teammates Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie that he used performance enhancing drugs with them."
CBS and Armstrong have been in a war of words since Hamilton detailed Armstrong's alleged drug use before a 2001 Switzerland race in an episode that aired May 22. Armstrong fired off a letter to the network shortly after demanding an apology, and accusing the network of "shoddy journalism."
However, Fager refused to apologize, and continued in his statement, "Mr. Armstrong's lawyers claim our story was 'shoddy,' while we found at least three inaccuracies in their letter: They claimed that 60 MINUTES reported the meeting took place at the Swiss lab; they claimed that 60 MINUTES reported the meeting took place in 2001; and they claimed that 60 MINUTES said it was a 'secret' meeting. All three are wrong. David Howman, managing director of the World Anti-Doping Agency, told 60 MINUTES that any meeting between Mr.Armstrong, Mr. [cyclist Johan] Brunyeel and the Swiss lab director, Dr. Saugy, would be "highly unusual” and 'inappropriate.'"
However, as CyclingNews.com points out, CBS' statement addresses the allegations from the 2001 cover up, but not the allegations that teammates witnessesed further drug use.
“We addressed the general Hamilton allegation in our original statement, released on Thursday night, prior to the broadcast, when CBS Evening News featured Hamilton,” Fabiani told CyclingNews.com.