Australian cycling legend Phil Anderson has been caught up in the fallout from the Lance Armstrong affair.The ABC's Four Corners program has uncovered evidence given in a United States court case suggesting that Anderson was present when Armstrong offered a member of an opposing team a $50,000 bribe to help fix a series of three races which carried a $1 million bonus for any rider who won them all.
Armstrong won all three races and the bribe - it is alleged - was paid to the opposing team in cash.
Armstrong has denied the allegation, and Anderson has told Four Corners he does not recall the offer being made.
The cyclist who made the allegation, New Zealander Stephen Swart, gave his evidence under oath in a sworn deposition in January 2006 in a court action which Armstrong had brought against a Dallas-based insurance company, SCA Promotions, for non-payment of a $5 million bonus following his sixth Tour de France win.
The deposition was filmed and has been obtained by Four Corners. It has never been shown before.
The events are alleged to have occurred in 1993, when Anderson was nearing the end of his professional cycling career.
At the time he was riding with the American Motorola team and was a mentor to Armstrong who was then a young, up-and-coming rider on the team.
The three races, known as the triple crown, were part of the American circuit and took place in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Philadelphia.
Armstrong won the first race in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and continued his dominance in the second race, which lasted five days.
In his sworn deposition, Swart said that "prior to its finish, we were approached to, to obviously help them, well basically not help them, but to not attack them".
When asked whether this meant "to, in effect, allow him to - to continue to win?", Swart answered: "Yes."
Stephen Swart is right at the centre of this latest allegation against Armstrong. And on this occasion, it was indeed a case of "show me the money"; read on:
Swart said the riders agreed to keep it quiet. When asked why, he replied: "Well, it's not a - it's not ethical if you look in the sporting arena, is it?"
Swart emphasised in his evidence that Armstrong had dominated all three races and would probably have won in any case, adding: "So as far as I was concerned, I was walking away with a bonus."
But he confirmed the money was paid over: "We received it - it was a period later, a few weeks later. It was just in the form of cash."
He confirmed the $50,000 was distributed among members of the Coors team.
Given that this allegation goes right back to the start of Lance Armstrong's career, it is just another brick in the wall of allegations against Armstrong. There are now so many allegations and so much corroboration that it is difficult to imagine that the whole thing is just a get-Lance campaign as the cyclist himself has suggested.
Lance Armstrong's reputation is in tatters. Some of his close associates are already taking a fall as the ripples spread. We can't help but wonder; if Lance Armstrong goes down, who will he take with him. Tonight's press conference at the UCI Headquarters in Geneva could be an explosive one.