A new book has claimed that Sheryl Crow witnessed cyclist Lance Armstrong doping.
The once-revered seven times Tour de France champion was banned from competitive cycling by US authorities in 2012 after being found guilty of using drugs to enhance his performance.
The singer allegedly watched her then boyfriend receive an illegal blood transfusion aboard the cyclist’s private jet on a trip to Belgium in 2004, The Guardian reports. She dated Armstrong from 2003 to 2006 and he has often cited her music as a key factor in him overcoming cancer.
The book, Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever, by Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell, claims:
“Rather than try to hide the transfusion from her, Armstrong was completely open about it. He trusted that Crow would have no desire to tell the press or anyone else about the team’s doping program. He explained that it was simply part of the sport – that all cyclists were doing the same thing.”
It is also claimed that five years after the couple broke up, federal investigators contacted Crow after they launched a criminal probe into the doping allegations. According to the reporters, Crow informed Food and Drug Administration criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky what she saw, and he gave her an agreement which would protect her as a witness from criminal prosecution.
Armstrong escaped criminal charges when a grand jury dropped the case against him in 2012 but still faces a string of lawsuits. The US Justice Department is currently suing Armstrong in to retrieve tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship that the US Postal Service paid to the cyclist and his teams.
After years of denial, Armstrong finally confessed to doping at the beginning of this year during a high-profile interview with Oprah Winfrey.