Walsh on heroes: Andreu, O’Reilly, Swart championed truth

British journalist of the year David Walsh names Betsy Andreu, Emma O'Reilly and Steven Swart among the heroes in the anti-doping fight

In an interview with Global Cycling Network, Irish journalist David Walsh points to Betsy Andreu, Emma O’Reilly and Stephen Swart as champions for truth and the health of cycling.

“A lot of people have told the truth since, all the U.S. Postal riders have come out, but they did so under pressure and Betsy and Emma told the truth when the only pressure on them was not to tell the truth was for everybody would’ve said to them, ‘you’ll just bring the wrath of Armstrong down upon you if you tell the truth,'” said Walsh. “Betsy Andreu and Frankie Andreu you know they’re, Frankie, Frankie’s professional life was seriously damaged by his wife’s determination not to lie for Lance Armstrong.”

A decorated writer for The Sunday Times, and the author of “L.A. Confidentiel” and “From Lance to Landis,” Walsh recently published a third book, “Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong,” following Armstrong’s downfall at the hands of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; it will be available in the U.S. later this month.

In the first installment of his interview with GCN’s Daniel Lloyd, Walsh said that Armstrong’s critical mistake was underestimating former teammate Floyd Landis.

In the second installment, Walsh spoke at length about Armstrong’s years of deception, and whether or not he might ever give a tell-all interview with the likes of Oprah Winfrey.

In the third installment, released Thursday, Walsh told Lloyd that Armstrong, “seized the opportunity of doping to make himself the most successful cyclist in the history of the Tour de France.”

When asked to name the five people he felt had done more than anyone to stem the tide of doping in the peloton and expose the truth surrounding the U.S. Postal Service team, Walsh names Paul Kimmage, Christophe Basson, Greg LeMond and Gilles Delion, but praises Andreu, O’Reilly and Swart above all.

“Now Emma and Betsy would be right up there,” he said. “Stephen Swart would be totally up there; this is a guy who rode with Lance on the Motorola team, he had a young son who was getting really into cycling and eight years after he retired Steven said, ‘you know what? I want to tell the truth about how it was in that Motorola team and we decided in 1995 to dope. The biggest advocate of doping in our team was Lance Armstrong but I Steven Swart also doped.’ He was vilified for that in New Zealand, all these silly, you know, radio phone-in shows, loads of guys coming on saying, ‘what a loser.’ You know, how dare he impute the reputation of Lance Armstrong and Steven Swart was named New Zealander of the year for telling the truth in the Lance Armstrong story.”

Editor’s note: Additional installments of Global Cycling Network’s interview with Walsh will be posted daily over the coming week.