Letters: How Strong is the Armstrong Evidence?

A majority of the mail this week is about our report last week on Lance Armstrong and doping allegations.

Copyright © 2006 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. Time now for your letters.

A flood of email, most of it critical about last week's story on allegations about Lance Armstrong. NPR's Tom Goldman reported that Betsy and Frankie Andreu, who were friends of Mr. Armstrong's at the time, had said in a deposition in a civil suit that when Mr. Armstrong was in a hospital for cancer surgery and treatment in 1996, they heard him tell a doctor that he had used banned performance-enhancing drugs.

John Hastings in Chicago asks: I'm not defending anyone, but if all you have husband and wife testimony in a civil suit, this is weak.

And Bob Swain(ph) in Appleton, Wisconsin writes: Who were the doctors in the room who were not Mr. Armstrong's oncologist and who asked about performance-enhancing drugs? Why would any doctor phrase a question that way unless there was a suspicion that these drugs were a contributing cause to Mr. Armstrong's testicular cancer, in which case the question would've been posed by the oncologist before he actually went to the hospital for surgery. And if the question was asked for a reason, Lance Armstrong's answer would've been logged in a medical record.

Where is that record? Nurse's notes almost always log the names, dates and times of visits to patients by physicians having anything to do with the treatment. Were those notes checked, the physicians identified and then interviewed? If not, why not? The story is unfinished and should've been held until the answers to mine and similar questions are answered.

Robin Schreiber of Cleveland says: I'm not a big sports fan or Lance Armstrong fan, and I think your story was factually and fairly reported, but isn't enough enough? Someone has come forward in a lawsuit that claimed that Lance Armstrong said he used certain enhancements 10 years ago. Lance Armstrong has repeatedly passed all drug tests, has done everything humanly possible to defend himself, and yet constantly has to respond to allegations. Yikes! Stop already!

Finally, our profile of Hurricane Katrina survivor Randy Adams brought this letter from Kathy Donaldson in Portland, Oregon. Thank you so much for the update on wonderful Randy Adams. I just happened to hear the first story and was so impressed and inspired. When I heard the story on his return to Louisiana and his wife leaving, I was so very sad. Now today I got to hear that life for this wonderful man is back on track. Everything about him makes me feel guilty for ever feeling sorry for myself and life's little bumps.

You could write us by going to our Web site, npr.org, and clicking on contact us in the upper right hand corner. Please remember to tell us where you live, how to pronounce your name and if you're using any banned substances.

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