In the shockwave aftermath of the USADA Reasoned Decision comes a rumor that the US ANti-Doping Agency is considering a special commemorative “Saint Betsy Andreu” coin.
The plan would be to celebrate the heroic testimony of Andreu in the doping case against now disgraced professional cyclist Lance Armstrong.
According to one insider with knowledge of the discussions, CEO Travis Tygart has floated the idea of a coin to reward the fearless honesty of Andreu, who was for many years an outspoken critic of the former seven time Tour de France winner.
“Tygart likes to think outside the box. Anyone who saw him take down Lance knows he’s got some bold ideas,” said the source. “He just thinks it’s a cool idea and may also encourage others to testify in the future if some sort of sainthood would be part of the deal.”
One rumor currently making the rounds is that Tygart has contacted Archbishop Benedict Giacometti in New YorkCity to inquire about the possibility of creating a saint for the fight against doping in sports.
“It may not be that Tygart needs approval from Rome. This is the a subject where the American Archbishop could make his own ruling,” said David Rosaree, an expert in Catholic political history. “There are a number of levels of Sainthood — there are the Mother Teresas but also many lower level inspirational figures. It’s not out of the question.”
Reached for comment, Betsey Andreu was clearly non-plussed. “I honestly don’t’ know what to say. I simply told the truth. I;m sure there are lots of other people more qualified to be saints. From what I’ve seen of the coin, it doesn’t really look like me.”
Prototypes of the coin show a rough profile likeness of Betsy Andreu in gold with a circular border of silver with twelve stars. The commemorative coins would be sold through the USADA website with all proceeds going to fund dope testing programs in the United States.
Tygart would neither confirm nor deny the existence of the Saint Betsey coin, issuing only a short statement. “It is the mission and mandate of USADA to take whatever measure possible to ensure that sports are free from doping. We would consider any measure to ensure the success of that mission,” read the statement in part.
Some experts believe the Saint Betsy coin is only the beginning. “You know how this goes — there’s going to be a whole series — a Lemond coin, a Scott Mercier coin,” said Andrew Chuckel, of USA Cycling. “The trick is Landis — what do you do about him? He’s sinner and saint — maybe a two-headed coin?”
Betsey Andreu isn’t sure what she would do with her commemorative coin, one with an estimated retail value of $19.99. “Maybe if I had several bags of them, I don’t know. We spent so much money fighting Lance.”