Lance Armstrong Avoids Charges as Inquiry Ends
By IAN AUSTEN
Published: February 3, 2012
Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they had closed their investigation of Lance Armstrong without charging him, nearly two years after they began looking into possible crimes related to allegations that he and his cycling teammates participated in illegal doping.
The possible crimes being investigated included the defrauding of the government, drug trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy involving Armstrong and other top cyclists. In particular, the authorities were exploring whether money from the United States Postal Service, the main sponsor of Armstrong’s team from 1996 to 2004, was used to buy performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has always emphatically denied any accusations that he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He has long fought off suspicions that his Tour titles were tainted by performance-enhancers, and he has never officially tested positive for an illegal substances. (At the 1999 Tour, he failed a test for a corticosteroid but produced a doctor’s note for it.)
A grand jury in Los Angeles was convened for the investigation. On Friday, without citing a reason, United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. said in a statement that prosecutors and special agents had ended the investigation into “allegations of federal criminal conduct by members and associates of a professional bicycle racing team owned in part by Lance Armstrong.”
In May 2010, Floyd Landis, a former teammate on the United States Postal Service team whose 2006 Tour title was annulled because he failed a drug test, reversed his years of denials and said publicly that he and Armstrong were active participants in systematic drug use and blood doping on the team.
It's time to move on, though I'm sure that Floyd Landis will be disappointed that he won't be in line for a reward as a rat...uh.... "Whistle blower."
I've never been a Lance-worshipper, but he was among the best athletes we've ever seen. I think the biggest disappointment I've personally had from Lance has been his endorsement of Michelob Ultra as "beer".