I'm over Armstrong says bitter Anderson

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 19/01/2013
Mike Anderson
Fairfax NZ
MIKE ANDERSON: Was hired by Lance Armstrong in 2003.

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Mike Anderson is not waiting for the phone call from Lance Armstrong.

God knows he's due it.

The Wellington-based American bike mechanic was run out of Texas by somebody he thought was a friend after the pair first met as 16-year-olds.

He and his family have paid dearly - emotionally and financially - for Armstrong's dogged pursuit of Anderson ever since he went public about finding evidence of steroid use in the now disgraced cyclist's Spanish apartment in 2004.

Anderson, who was hired by Armstrong in 2003, didn't even watch the Oprah Winfrey interview yesterday.

He told Fairfax Media he was "over" Armstrong and that the now self-admitted cheat was unlikely to call him despite promising during the interview that he wanted to apologise to those hurt by his "lie".

Armstrong revealed he had already called Frankie and Betsy Andreu, his teammate and wife, to say sorry for his attacks on them after Betsy blew the whistle on him.

He also apologised to former team masseuse Emma O'Reilly after previously maligning her publicly.

The trio had asserted Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs.

"I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative," he told Winfrey.

"I am flawed. Deeply flawed. I will spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and apologise to people for the rest of my life."

But that admission and offer of contrition found little sway with Anderson.

"His calls to those he's attacked are not expressions of sympathy," Anderson told Fairfax Media last night after being relayed the content of the Armstrong "confession".

"They're not made out of remorse. They're just statements of fact.

"Lance hasn't called me and I do not expect the phone to ring. I don't expect Lance to ever apologise to me.

"With me it was more personal than any of the others.

"I was behind the scenes, I was part of the inner circle.

"If he did call I wouldn't speak with him, I've been manipulated enough."

Armstrong sacked Anderson as his assistant after the latter went public after finding empty steroid packages in the cyclist's fridge.

He had been asked by Armstrong to "rid the apartment" of any evidence of the Texan's former wife as he was bringing his new girlfriend, American songstress Sheryl Crow, to the apartment.

While carrying out that command, he discovered the steroid packaging and later told American TV network ESPN of it.

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He then found himself at the heart of Armstrong-initiated legal action which resulted in him being hounded out of his Texas hometown before resettling in Wellington in 2007.

"I just wanted to get myself and my family as far away from him as possible," said Anderson who maintains he is happy running his small bike shop in Upper Hutt.

"I'm over Lance."

- The Dominion Post

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