Lance Armstrong’s Indianapolis doctor reflects On treating cyclist

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It’s hard to find any one more willing to support Lance Armstrong than the man who helped save his life.

Two weeks after Armstrong went on TV to admit he’d been lying, the Indianapolis doctor who treated him is talking about the cyclist’s tarnished legacy, and Armstrong’s enduring legacy in the cancer community.

“What he’s done for the cancer community has been unprecedented,” said Dr. Lawrence Einhorn, the first-ever Lance Armstrong Foundation Professor of Oncology at IU Medical School.

“We’ve treated a lot of important people and athletes, but no one has done for the cancer community what he has done,” said Dr. Einhorn, who watched the Oprah interview last month on TV.

During the exchange with Oprah, the embattled cyclist answered just about every question, except for one. He refused to give an answer when asked about whether he talked about using performance enhancing drugs while undergoing cancer treatment at Indiana University Hospital in Indianapolis in October 1996. That’s when he was being treated by Dr. Einhorn.

In the interview, Winfrey asked Armstrong if Betsy Andreu’s claims of what she heard at IU Hospital were true. Andreau claimed she had overheard Armstrong tell doctors he had taken performance enhancing drugs.

Oprah Winfrey:  “Was Betsy telling the truth about the Indiana hospital – overhearing you in 1996?”
Lance Armstrong:  “I’m not going to take that on, I’m laying down on that one.”
Oprah Winfrey:  “Was Betsy lying?”
Lance Armstrong:  “I’m going to put that one down.”

In an exclusive interview with Fox59, Dr. Einhorn said if any of that happened, it wasn’t while he was in the room.

“Believe me, I would remember that,” Einhorn said. “He may have had some friends who were there, or some cycling buddies… but I can’t imagine a doctor asking a patient a question like that.”

Einhorn said, for him, the information would not be medically relevant.

These days, he’s choosing to remember Armstrong, not for lying, but for living, and helping others.

“He cheated in a sport,” Einhorn said. “He didn’t murder anyone, he didn’t steal money from anyone. He’s still a hero for people in the cancer community, and let’s be honest, if he didn’t dope, he would not have won seven straight Tour de Frances, because so many people were doping at that time. If he didn’t dope, and finished 17th, there wouldn’t have been a Livestrong foundation that helped millions of people with cancer.”


  • Kilgor Trout

    He kind of did steal money from people and the fact that others doped does not excuse him doing it and then lying about it and beyond that suing people for saying he doped when he knew they were telling the truth, winning in court and taking their money (kind of seems like theft to me). He shouldn't be a hero in any way shape or form to anyone.

    • Eric

      I think its funny how 99% of people don't know jack about this whole situation or cycling in general, but just read these quick news blurbs, and then say things like "he sued 'people' and ruined their lives" . Do you even know anything about the situation? Do you know who he was suing and why? Do you even know these people and if their lives are ruined? Did you read the USADA report, and actually read the testimonies of the other riders? I hardly doubt it..

      He didn't take money from anyone, he didn't ruin anyone's life trust me. The people he was suing were newspapers, and other cyclist who ruined their own lives when they got caught for doping themselves and because they were cowardly, envious and jealous that lance never got caught and could not own up to their own mistake they tried to blame Lance. Really childish if you ask me, you made a decision to become a cyclist and dope, own up to it yourself, don't try to blame it on someone.
      As as you know when people or newspaper go around saying things to the media about you without any hard evidence to back it up, its called slander, libel, or defamation or whatever, and you can get sued for it. It happens more often than you think, with celebrities, CEOs, politicians, companies, etc, people are always getting sued and told to keep their mouth shuts, even if what they are saying is true. If you are so knowledgeable about the situation, please tell me, whose life did he ruin, and how and why? Just saying before talk why don't you make sure you know a bit more about the situation and what the hell you are talking about.

      • Richard Mahony

        Like Emma Reilly you mean? No, I don't trust you or anyone else who tries to justify the actions of a liar, a bully and a cheat like LA.

  • El Dood

    "…I can’t imagine a doctor asking a patient a question like that.”

    I call BS on that. I'm a "healthcare professional". It's important that physicians obtain a complete medical history, INCLUDING any medications the patient may be taking or may have taken.

    Did Komen have to win the Tour De France in order to establish her foundation?
    Lance Armstrong is a cheat, a liar and a bully who not only "stole" money from the apparently few that tried to race clean, he also ruined the reputations and buisnesses of those that spoke out against him.

  • mgaddy

    Because of the attention this young man brought to the world of testicular cancer, thousands of other young men like him are now living. Between Dr. Einhorn, and his miraculous work, and Lance, and his fame and fortune, testicular cancer is now a "win-able" disease for many testicular cancer patients. BOTH of these men are heroes. I don't really care what Lance has done in the past. I KNOW what he has influenced and how much money his LiveStrong Foundation has raised for cancer patients and research. The world should remember the GOOD this man has done. He should be remembered for the hope he puts in cancer patients' eyes, not the dope he may have used many years ago.

      • Eric

        Not just awareness, patient support as well, what do you really know? Some blurb you read real quick without doing any fact checking. What do you even know about cancer? About cancer research? They are filling a need in cancer support which was previously unaddressed. But you are right no research, there other much larger sources of funding for research. Livestrong money is much better on awareness and patient advocacy. Cancer research is a lot of wasted money, trust me I did it for many years. My old lab, around 5 people, including salaries used up well over 1 million dollars a year, easily. In the many years I was there, what did we accomplish, nothing, just a lot of wasted time and money.

        Don't get me wrong it still needs to be done, but cancer research is not always the best place to put all your eggs. There is some serious issues in biomedical research that need to be addressed as well, money is not always well spent and communication and cooperation is low.

    • attyfaro

      Mgaddy, well, it's difficult to forgive him for stabbing honest people in the back for merely telling the truth. He intentionally sued all those people knowing he was lying the whole time. The man doesn't have any INTEGRITY. One might be able to forgive him if he just doped, but didn't harm anyone else in the process. A man that behaves this way cannot be trusted!

      • Eric

        You don't know what you are talking about, people stabbed him in the back, he sued them. Do you have any clue about the situation. Do you know one of his accusers, Floyd Landis, got caught doping red handed, I mean blistering positive blood sample during the tour. He actually wrote a BOOK a whole BOOK 300+ pages talking about how he was innocent, he started a fundraiser, made and sold T-shirts and everything. Floyd Innocent Fund or somehing it was called. Everything to prove he was innocent. He spent all his money in court proceedings and appeals trying to prove he was innocent, finally was convicted anyway. Then he decided I guess now I will admit it (didn't really have a choice, nothing noble about it) and well I will blame everything on Lance Armstrong. That man has no INTEGRITY, he is a coward and a liar, I have the damn book sitting on my shelf. That is stealing money directly from the people, from me. These are the people he sued, these people ruined their own lives and are liars themselves, cowards, and "men" who can't own up to their mistakes.

      • flip

        Dude………… you are so off base. Did you watch that Oprah show? Do you live on some island alone in the South Pacific? This blog is about easily the biggest BSer pro sports has ever seen…stay on topic. It's not about landis and his book. And even if it were , it's just another teamate doing anything he can to help himself from the big Armstrong bully machine. That's right…. Bulling is dead dead wrong, but Armstrong is the KING of it. INTEGRITY…that's just word man.

  • flip

    I read his autobiography a few years ago (after his 2nd tour victory) and thought it was a good read but, he comes across very full of himself. If I had the kind of cancer he did and wanted to compete at the highest level….YES I would do drugs. But to BS the world (at any cost) and destroy the lifes of teamates, I wouldn't go there. Yes he survived cancer and his charity donates millions to it's fight, but he is really abit of a dirtbag now playing the only card he has left. That guy has been shameless for over a decade and now wears the Livestrong thing like a badge…..because that's all he has left. I could careless ever seeing this guy again or watch a competion he is in…..did you have to be so self absorbed and ruthless?????

  • KatheM

    Dr. Einhorn, asking whether a patient took drugs like steroids, human growth hormone, testosterone (!!!!!!) or EPO wouldn't be medically relevant to you? Really?

    If you tell lies and make money from it, that's stealing. If you cheat and deprive others of victory in competition if they race clean, that's stealing.

    Bullying others to take dangerous drugs in order for you to win, is not only cheating, it's inhumane. i can't imagine how many kids were conceived while their fathers were taking PEDS. How does that affect them? How many people will become sick in the future?

    If Armstrong wasn't the camera ready stud he has become, if he were ugly people wouldn't even be mildly sympathetic.

  • MeatPlow

    really, why delete that? I'll be more careful now

    question: did performance enhancing "stuff" help him beat his personal plague. was it a certain combination that worked wonders?

    If YES, then we may have been able to learn something from Lance other than his behavior.

  • Hannah

    Dr. Einhorn isn't impartial and didn't both to be transparent and disclose:

    Dr. Einhorn became the first Lance Armstrong Foundation Professor of Oncology in 2006.

  • Hannah

    Armstrong made a $1.5 million donation to the Indiana Hospital shortly after he found out the Andreus would testify against him, via affadavits, for the SCA case. Similar to the "donation" that Armstrong made to the UCI and his attempted "donation" to USADA. More under-handed practices by the liar and cheat known as Lance Armstrong.

    Shame on the Dr. Einhorn for not being forthright.

  • Joe Blow

    It really bothers me when people say the ends justify the means.

    "he didn’t steal money from anyone"

    When you sue someone for telling the truth in order to protect your lie, that sure feels like stealing to me.

    "If he didn’t dope, and finished 17th, there wouldn’t have been a Livestrong foundation that helped millions of people with cancer"

    How far down that slippery slope are you prepared to go? How much bad am I allowed to do if I also do some good? Cheating is cheating.

  • Aaron

    I call this the Robinhood Syndrome. The doctor believes that it's okay to steal from the rich to help the poor. Fraud is fraud.

  • Rachel Unpingco

    Whether he would have won or lost wasn't the point for me. I watched all 7 races from start to finish. It was his fierce competitiveness and "take that" personality that was so engrossing. I was so disappointed to find out he cheated because I so admired the man. However, he wasn't the only one, in that era. He sinned, that is a fact, but he has done a lot of good in the cancer community. He deserves to be remembered more for that than his cheating. I can't hold it against him. It took courage no matter what anyone says to come "clean" on television. Most of our sins are hidden and not broadcast on live television.

Comments are closed.