Phil Anderson denies witnessing cycling bribe

ROGER VAUGHAN
Last updated 05:00 05/02/2013

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Australian cycling legend Phil Anderson has denied witnessing Lance Armstrong offer a bribe to help fix a race.

Two other former cyclists have alleged Armstrong offered inducements to rival competitors during a lucrative 1993 race series in the United States.

Armstrong scored a US$1 million bonus by winning three successive races in the series.

New Zealander Stephen Swart gave evidence in a court case seven years ago that Armstrong offered his team $50,000 to not ride aggressively in the second race.

The ABC's Four Corners program asked Anderson if he was in the room when Armstrong made the offer to Swart's Coors Light team.

At the time, Anderson and Armstrong were riding together on the Motorola team.

"I don't recall being in that meeting," Anderson told the program.

"I mean nah, it's ... $50,000, substantial amount, I'd remember that you know."

When contacted by AAP, Anderson strenuously denied witnessing the offer.

"I have thought long and hard about it and I cannot remember it at all," Anderson said.

American Frankie Andreu also alleged that Armstrong offered money to two rival Italian riders during the third race.

Andreu said he saw Armstrong give the two Italians "a shoe box filled with money" after the race.

Anderson also said he did not recall Armstrong trying to bribe rivals during the third race.

Up until now, Armstrong's downfall has focussed on his doping and bullying of people who tried to expose him for using banned methods.

Australian anti-doping scientist Mike Ashenden again savaged Armstrong in the same program, calling him a professional and pathological liar.

Ashenden has insisted Armstrong doped during his 2009-11 competition comeback, something the disgraced cyclist strenuously denied during last month's Oprah Winfrey interview.

"He's a professional liar, for 15 years? - I don't think anyone should even blink at the prospect of maybe he told one more fib," Ashenden said.

He also disputed Armstrong's denial about making a payment to cycling's world governing body the UCI to cover up a positive test during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland.

"Armstrong would have us believe, even today, that he gave that money to improve the fight against doping," Ashenden said.

"I mean he's a doper, giving money to improve the system to try and catch himself, that's like a robber giving money to a bank to improve their security system.

"When you have a pathological liar telling you a story as farcical as that, you can be pretty sure there's something he's trying to hide."

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