"Absurd," the cycling champ's lawyer says about an allegation by a fired employee

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated April 01, 2005 08:00 AM

With the attorney for Lance Armstrong calling the allegation “absurd,” a former personal assistant is alleging that he found a steroid in the six-time Tour de France champ’s Spanish apartment early last year.

“It’s a shakedown and it has been from the very beginning,” Armstrong’s attorney Timothy Herman tells the Associated Press. “We are not going to be blackmailed or pay extortion money to hide something that isn’t true.”

Mike Anderson, who had worked for Armstrong for about two years (being paid about $3,000 a month and offered a $7,000 severance package when fired, Anderson claims), has been in a legal fight with the cycling great over Armstrong’s alleged promises to help him start a bike shop.

In his Texas court filing, Anderson says that in “early 2004” he was cleaning the bathroom in Armstrong’s apartment in Girona, Spain, and found a white box labeled “like any other prescription drug” but did not have a doctor’s prescription attached.

Written on the box was the trademark name “Androstenine, or something very close to this,” said Anderson, adding that he did not confront his employer about the box for fear of being fired.

Anderson said it was the only time he found the alleged substance and that he never saw Armstrong take any steroids or other banned substances, AP reports.

Armstrong, 33, has long maintained that he has is drug-free and, as a cancer survivor, he calls himself one of the frequently most drug-tested athletes in the world.

His attorney also says that the champ has no intention of retiring.