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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Greg LeMond speaks out about abuse

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond will speak to a public audience for the the first time about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child, the Kansas City Star reports.

LeMond will give the keynote speech Aug. 7 at a fundraiser for the Sunflower House in Kansas City, Kan. Sunflower House works to protect and support child victims of sexual abuse in Johnson and Wyandotte counties.

LeMond managed to keep the abuse a secret until the May 2007 arbitration hearing for Floyd Landis, the 2006 winner of the Tour de France who had been stripped of his title after tests indicated he had used testosterone.

At that hearing, LeMond testified he had urged Landis to come clean about any drug use. He told Landis about the abuse. Later, he received a phone call from Landis’ business manager threatening to reveal it if LeMond testified.

In the article, Lemond talks in detail about the abuse. Here's a brief excerpt:
To this day, LeMond says his memories of the abuse are hazy. For years he blocked out the details. He was 11 or 12.

“I do remember when it first happened. … It was a family friend.”

The man, LeMond said at the hearing, was named Ron. He was a pal of LeMond’s father. The family lived in Nevada. His father was in real estate. The friend was 17 years older than LeMond.

“He would ski with us at Lake Tahoe,” LeMond recalled. “He was literally like an uncle.”

Ron visited numerous times and would sleep in the extra bed in LeMond’s room. He showed LeMond pornography. It excited the young boy.

Then one night, everything changed. LeMond was asleep.

“Before I knew it, he did something to me that I never knew about,” LeMond said.
Reporter Eric Adler did an excellent job with the phone interview, in which LeMond described how the abuse affected him as a teen and an adult. I encourage you to read the story.

I know there are people out there who don't particularly like LeMond, in large part because of his criticism of 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. But in my view, LeMond's 1986, 1989 and 1990 Tour de France victories did much to expose Americans to the sport of cycling and paved the way for Armstrong and other American cyclists to succeed on the pro cycling circuit.

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Roger 2 comments links to this post 11:12 PM

Greg Lemond...still the only American to win the Tour de France without using drugs.
hi its really an cool article ..
i just love it ..very glad to find it ..
feel god when i read it .. yaa greg still the only american to win the tour de france without using drugs.
Sept 1--Sept 1
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