New book Cycle of Lies reveals disgraced cyclist pursued romance with young actress Ashley Olsen in 2007 despite manager’s warning that it could damage the identity of his cancer foundation
Long before Lance Armstrong fell from grace after admitting to brazenly having used performance-enhancing drugs to succeed in professional cycling with no fear of the consequences, came another episode that showed the cyclist’s bold attitude.
A new book, Cycle Of Lies, written by Juliet Macur, has revealed that back in 2007 the Tour de France star was involved in a relationship with actress-turned-fashion designer Ashley Olsen — then 15 years younger than him — despite his manager advising him that the affair could damage his inspirational image.
Actress Ashley Olsen at the 58th Cannes Film Festival in France in 2005. Pic/Getty Images.
According to the book, Lance (then 36 years old) and Ashley’s romance was all over the gossip pages in America at the time, and John Korioth, the chief of Livestrong Foundation — Lance’s cancer support initiative founded in 1997 — felt that considering he had three children, the romance would damage his cancer charity work. Korioth is reported to have told Lance: “Whoa, dude, bad idea. You’ve got to put a stop to this (relationship with Olsen) right now.”
An unabashed Armstrong is alleged to have shot back saying: “She’s twenty-one… f**k you.” The instance shows that Lance was so smitten by the fact that the woman was far younger that he didn’t even care about the consequences his relationship would have on his global image, which at the time was clearly soaring.
After being diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996, the seven-time Tour de France champion underwent intensive treatment and amazingly returned to professional cycling two years later.
In 2005, he retired from racing only to return in January 2009 and finish an impressive third at the 2009 Tour de France making the cancer-survivor a global symbol of sheer grit and determination. However, in 2012, Lance was banned from competitive cycling and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after he admitted to the use of performance-enhancing drugs.