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Report: Armstrong subject of criminal investigation

Cycling News
February 6, 2013, 04:44,
February 6, 2013, 04:47
First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 6, 2013
A downcast Lance Armstrong

A downcast Lance Armstrong

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Birotte does not speak for the federal government as a whole, says anonymous source

Contrary to what U.S. Attorney André Birotte said at a press conference on Tuesday, a federal government source has told ABC News that Lance Armstrong is in fact the focus of a criminal investigation.

According to the anonymous source, "Agents are actively investigating Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation," they told ABC News.

Earlier, Birotte who last February dropped the federal investigation into the former Tour de France champion, told the media in Washington, DC, that he stood by the decision despite Armstrong’s confession to Oprah Winfrey.

"We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago," Birotte said, according to Reuters. "Obviously, we've been well aware of the statements that have been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does not change my view at this time."

His comments appear to have been premature with the source adding that: "Birotte does not speak for the federal government as a whole," with the investigation being run out of an office separate to that of Birotte.


FaustoCoppi More than 1 year ago
silly to be wasting so much money and time on this
Reemmo More than 1 year ago
Nothing "silly" at all. He's a criminal, and an arrogant and bombastic one at that. To ignore the extent to which he broke the law is criminal in itself, and makes a mockery of our concepts of law, and justice. If he can mock the law as he has done, why should anybody abide by any law?
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
He didn´t break any laws. People speeding more then 20 miles in their cars are bigger criminals then he is. He just did the same every other cyclist in the world did because at that time you could not perform on apr without using the stuff. (and you rpobably still cant)
sideshadow More than 1 year ago
Transporting drugs across borders not a crime? Witness intimidation is legal? O, ok.
mikeelmer More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry??!! Where in any testimony is there proof of transporting drugs across borders?????? Don't make crap up that you don't know! And as for witness intimidation, that is one perspective, primarily from Tyler Hamilton.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Something lost in your understanding there. THe DRUGS alledgedly trafficked by Armstrong are not illegal! They are banned from proffesional sports people using them, but if you Joe public wished to use them for whatever reason, and had a doctor prescribe them, you would not be breaking any laws. It is not as though they were carrying ice or heroin or that...... Witness intimidation? using the court process to intimidate, occupy or silence a witness is NOT illegal! it happens eery day in the big money game of business. It is immoral agreed, but since when has it been illegal to be immoral?
runninboy More than 1 year ago
yes I doubt Lance had a doctors prescription as that doctor would have his license to practice medicine revoked. Prescribing EPO to someone who is healthy and has a hemocrit 3 times the level where it is normally prescribed is dangerous and possibly criminal. In fact because of so many problems with Pro Crit users experiencing heart attacks EPO is reccomended by the maker to only be used in the most extreme cases of anemia.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Ray Lewis (football) make LA look like Saint. What would happen if the USADA had Jurisdiction of the NFL...WOW.
pinocchio More than 1 year ago
We are really doomed as a species aren't we?
DavePat More than 1 year ago
"He didn't break any laws" ????? You must be kidding. Try witness tampering and intimidation, fraud, conspiracy, aiding and abetting, perjury, etc., etc.
TShame More than 1 year ago
There's no legal evidence...all circumstantial. Same was true with Barry Bonds, Sosa, Clements, McGuire, etc. The whole NFL is juiced, and most of the NBA too. Give it up people. There's no dead body here.
JulieT More than 1 year ago
No Legal Evidence? He admitted he doped-that is not considered circumstantial evidence.
Jamie Flinn More than 1 year ago
PLEASE STOP EQUATING "DOPED" with DOPE as in heroine and other Illegal Narcotics - the PEDS used are yes immoral and cheating but in NO FORM illegal to take - go see your doctor, tell him you have disease X and see what he gives you - it will be on the banned substance list for competition (including allergy medications) - You take those to improve your performance yes you is NOT is against the rules of a sport federation Now you run along an prove that any pro cyclist is importing coke , heroin, uppers then you have an ILLEGAL issue....otherwise it is plain immoral!!...UGH!
robchurchill More than 1 year ago
Jamie, he stated under oath that he had not doped. Ever heard of perjury?
runninboy More than 1 year ago
yes illegal without a doctors prescription. Doubtful that he had that as it would be pretty hard to justify and would likely land the doctor in jail.
oknutson More than 1 year ago
Is first-hand witness testimony not considered legal evidence? Since when? I am aware that second hand witness testimony (e.g. John told me that he saw Lance do such and such) is not admissible, but I was unaware that first-hand witness testimony is now not considered legal evidence. Thanks for enlightening us TShame!
DavePat More than 1 year ago
"No legal evidence" ??? I would suggest that you do at least a high school level of actual research and actually READ the USADA report and then get back to us with that ridiculous claim. Sworn, direct, 1st person, eye witness, testimony from 11 of his ex teammates plus his staff for a total of 26 witnesses all testifying against Armstrong is NOT circumstantial evidence. Nor are the results of his blood and urine analysis.
DavePat More than 1 year ago
"PEDS used are yes immoral and cheating but in NO FORM illegal to take - go see your doctor" You are conveniently failing to understand that doping was THE LEAST of the charges that Armstrong ran from. THE LEAST !
bfasula More than 1 year ago
The priorities of our government are meant to distract everyone to the fact that our country is become a third world country on the verge of an economic collapse. The emperor has no clothes.
Deagol More than 1 year ago
I'm an American tax payer and this is the best money we have spent in a while, I'll even chip in 10 bucks....
Almon Poole More than 1 year ago
I don't have a problem with his doping, every top cyclist (and most Athletes) do that, it's part of the game, even today.... I take issue with his arrogance and the way he treated people, I don't think that's a crime but it does make him a huge asshole and will probably bend public opinion of him in this country to the point that the feds might try and make an example out of him.
erader More than 1 year ago
they said also said the USADA investigation was a waste of money, and armstrong agreed. i'd klike to see him lose that ill-gotten gain. all of it.
ritual More than 1 year ago
Yes of course Lance would agreee, he wants to keep his money , many houses, all the business's he has set up from all the money he has gained from deception of the 20+ years . Right down to paying off the doctors at the hospital that treated his cancer (which was self inflicted through steroid and other ped use stretching back to the late 80's) , amazing how the hospital got a $1 million donation from Lance
Titanium More than 1 year ago
Hey Fausto you are way off the mark - Ponce Armstrong deserves everything he gets and more - let's not forget that this guy didn't just cheat as a cyclist - he lied to the world & kept lying up until the very last moment & often at other people 's expense. screw him for all he is worth !!!
brian meahan More than 1 year ago
@Fausto - The investigation may very well turn up evidence fraud with the charity foundation also. This is a man that bilked millions out of sponsors, race promoters and fans. He has ruined people's lives and lied under oath. He tried to buy his way out of more than one investigation. It's high time he be held accountable.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
This has been a man that gave people hope, he cared about people (and not only those suffering from that disease) no he called them in person to give them the strength to fight on. He was and for me is still a hero. And his charity foundations have long been run by other people then himself. people supporting money for the charity did not give to Lance Armstrong but to the good cause.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
To hold someone as a hero, surely one must believe something that escapes their mouth. Therefore, tob have LA as a hero you must be a pitiful fool or wilfully stupid.
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
No he took a 2 hours detour to meet with a sick friend of mine, whome he never met before or knew, just to comfort him and give him strength. All free of costs. Just an act of a man whome i hold in high regards ever since. My friend in the end lost the battle, but Lance sure took the time for him. Something not seen much in this world.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Sorry about your friend, most of us have friends devastated by cancer. I truly hope Lance did not whisper any sweet lies in his ear, because that would really be uncool.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Oh and dear friends, when my time comes, could you please do everything in your power to keep a world class megafraud away from my deathbed? Cheers.
lostintime More than 1 year ago
People are not all or nothing, black or white , good or bad. People do right things AND wrongs . Thank you Lord.Bachus for sharing that .
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
Silver Bullet - while Armstrong may have done some awful things, that comment about "sweet lies" was just wrong. One thing to debate the intent of a man who is suspected of crimes, another to downgrade an event as significant as a hand reached out in compassion to a dying man as an opportunity to lie to the guy. If we are to debate Armstrong's character, please do not invoke the memory of those who have passed as a tool to make us angry with Armstrong. At that point in time, I am sure that his appearance meant an incredible amount to the friend and to his family. Don't try and take that away. Not for Lance's sake, but for those that went through it. I really feel that you owe Lord.Bachus an apology.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Ridley rider, it was lord bachus who invoked the memory of someone who had passed as a tool to make his Apologist point, not me. Don't turn on the responder, I was pointing out the same flaw of argument you were. and pointing out this is a cycling website. If you want to invoke flawed arguments on heroism maybe a cancevangelist website would be more appropriate.
Hammerer More than 1 year ago
Armstrong's foundation doesn't actually do any cancer research or other science. Every dollar donated to that mega tax-shelter is money that could have gone to legitimate medicine.
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
Debated responding - Here it is. Using an arguement that you saw as flawed to build the format of your own arguement is a bit strange. If your point was that he was acting as a Lance apologist - fine. I can go along with that. Attacking a very significant memory at a personal level simply because he is an apologist as you put it does nothing but make you look cruel. You took a cycling arguement and made it personal. At that level, it was uncalled for. Last I will say on it.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Ridley Rider, seeing you were still on your high horse as said your 'last' You accused me you took a cycling argument and made it personal". I thought i was clear on this point in my previous post, but: That has no basis in reality - it was Lord bachus who invoked the death of their personal friend in a cycling/doping discussion, not me. reread above, it is pretty clear. I responded to this to "inter alia" call out lod bachus for doing so, as you seem to be trying to call out me for. Perhaps i did so in a manner that could be perceived as cruel. I am sick of cancevangelism being used as a shield to defend LA's trashing of our sport as well as the criminal actions that surround this trashing. And to use such personal examples to do this, i agree Ridley, is reprehensible.
runninboy More than 1 year ago
let me share MY story. Many many hours of time spent in oncology clinics with loved ones. Read every magazine in the place. Every notice on the bulletin board many times. Never once saw anything Livestrong related I asked doctors and nurses. Nothing at all from Livestrong. No support group, no sponsorships, not even a magazine subscription. I spent a minimum of 3 days per week, every week from the mid 90's to 2005. However right across the street was a Huge Livestrong/Lance Armstrong billboard. I guess marketing Lance was considered "awareness". I started a thread in the clinic and until Lance retired not one person posted that they actually had any support from Livestrong. I suspect that until the heat came on from the feds the sole charity was the marketing of Lance. Spending 10 thousand dollars to give away yellow rubber in a race goodie bag in my mind is merely self serving and a misuse of funds meant for an actual charity rather than a marketing arm. That is probably why the IRS got involved in versus Rather dubious for a "charity" to be so closely connected to a for profit organization.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Hammerer: I think you could provide more accurate information in regards to Livestrong and cancer research. Although the organization apparently does not directly engage in medical science that seeks a cure for cancer, it does do research and run programs to help current and future cancer patients who will not benefit from 'a cure,' There are over 200 different types of cancer. Four out of 10 will get cancer. These people deserve the care that charities like Livestrong provides. Most people in the medical community would agree that not all money collected for cancer charity need be funneled towards 'cure' research. Indeed, some of it is much better spent in the ways Livestrong is spending it. You can always tout better charities .... fair enough. America's largest charity watch organization regards Livestrong very highly. For you to characterize Livestrong as negatively as you do, is unfair.... perhaps just another barb to catch Armstrong on.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
thanks Alpe for throwing in that.. after all Livestrong was originally set up to assist CANCER SURVIVORS!. Those peopel who have had to struggle on (and yes it can be a struggle) after basically saying their goodbyes.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
Yet a President took a country to war, spending trillions of your hard earned dollars, chasing WMD's that were apparently a lie, and gets nowhere near the absolute hatred so many show towards Armstrong??? You have people trying hard to tax you for every mod con you use, stop you from driving your car, having central heating, having a manufacturingindustry on your shores etc all in the name of climate change. Another lie perpetuated so that the billions of dollars keep flowing into the research departments, yet again you accept without this hatred? Armstrong was a sportsman. Not a hero. Not a Role Model. Nothing more than an entertainer. To think that he is the worst person to have ever duped you is both misguided and (sorry) wrong. What about the bike shop salesperson who said that integrated seat posts would become the norm? Or that BB30 was the NEW standard? Or that riding tubless clinchers was going to be better or cheaper? All of those claims have more of an actual effect on you thatn some sports person you read about does. I mena do you believe that your Tek is now a horrible bike just because Lance took PEDS?
TomPiotrowski More than 1 year ago
Incidentally, look up this line in Armstrong's profile on popular ride tracking site Strava: "According to my rivals, peers, and teammates I won the Tour de France 7 times" - You can check it here: This guy is still full of himself!
RobbieCanuck More than 1 year ago
I am a former Crown Prosecuter in Canada. I was also a defence lawyer for 30 years. The evidence that Lance Armstrong has committed fraud is overwhelming and it is preposterous the American DOJ does not have a case. There has to be something political going on or perhaps LA's lawyer has provided Birotte with some information that is causing him not to pursue charges arisng out of the LA Grand Jury case. But to say he is comfortable with his decision is disquieting. Fraud is not that hard to prove. In Canada, our Supreme Court has approved inter alia, the British Court's definition "To defraud is to deprive by deceit, and it is a deceit to induce a man (or a company) to act to his injury" Generally speaking this is also the substance of the law in the US. In fact the American RICO laws expand that definition. Anyone who has read the USADA reasoned decision in its proper context could not help but see loads of evidence to support a charge. It seems to me the taxpayers of the US and the US Postal Service were deprived of millions of dollars (in excess of $30M) by deceit There was in every US Postal contract, a contractural obligation made by every rider they were not using PEDs as a condition of receiving sponsorship money. It appears a whole nation was induced to part with their money to their injury by Armstrong etal, and in any event to their everlasting regret. If you don't prosecute the largest fraud in sports history, whey do you?
LaBici More than 1 year ago
indeed! BUT there is something fishy about the DOJ dropped case and the way it was dropped. POLITICAL interference ...
ritual More than 1 year ago
Yes it appears it was right around superbowl weekendlast year and also the fact it might drag in afew politians which might have hurt the election
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
The entire group of them should be prosecuted. I mean the entire peloton for fraud under the UN and World Courts.
bikerbruce More than 1 year ago
Robbie, who was deprived? My understanding is that US Postal sponsored to increase awareness of their international capabilities; they profited tremendously from their investment. Another troubling aspect of the pursuit of Lance is that the others are exonerated. All Posties who confessed have committed the same crimes as Lance. Truth is, the pursuers are not out for justice but self aggrandizement and financial gain. Travis Tygart wasted limited funds to pursue one retired cyclist instead of current riders, which did not serve to clean up cycling but merely tear down one rider while launching his own name into international fame. Floyd and the sleazy lawyer behind him were only out to gain money through whistleblower. Tyler's book used Lance's name on every page to attract buyers, otherwise, the general populous neither knows nor cares who he is. This site publishes everything they can muster on the subject because it attracts readers by orders of magnitude more than racing itself. And lastly, if there is in fact a criminal investigation, it is yet another person riding coattails, about to shoot the wounded animal in order to stand on the trophy and gain newfound fame, power, and money. There are no pure heros or pure villains in this sordid tale, which continues to disgust the paying public with our sport and thus erode the possibility of corporate sponsors in this global economic crisis.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Well said, BB.
DavePat More than 1 year ago
"All Posties who confessed have committed the same crimes as Lance" Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to go back and read the original charging letter as well as the USADA report. Doping was THE LEAST of the charges that Armstrong ran from. Charges such as masterminding and managing a systematic doping program over multiple countries and continents for over a decade and maintained thru threats and intimidation, witness tampering and intimidation, coercing others to dope thru threats and intimidation, conspiracy, fraud, perjury, aiding and abetting, etc., etc. These ARE NOT the charges that the other riders would have been looking at and it's these charges that place Armstrong into a completely different level of criminality than other mere dopers.
PeterMc More than 1 year ago
but it is the doping that the USADA has control over! The "Charges such as masterminding and managing a systematic doping program over multiple countries and continents for over a decade and maintained thru threats and intimidation, witness tampering and intimidation, coercing others to dope thru threats and intimidation, conspiracy, fraud, perjury, aiding and abetting, etc., etc." Have NOTHING to do with USADA! They, by there own definition couldn't pursue UCI for it's part in the cover up as UCI is not an American Group. THe personal threats, the fraud, the Conspiracy, the perjury et al are all out side the UNITED STATES ANTI DOPING ASSOCIATIONS charter of concern! You could be a columbian drug lord, but as long as you were clean, you could play any sport you wanted and USADA cannot touch you. What is it going to take for people to realise that part of this whole business? Wance LA a nice guy? It doesn't look like it! but tell me again which No. 1 ranked sportsperson in any code isn't arrogant? Self preserving, self interested, willing to walk over any person who gets between them and their goal? Start a few years ago, Eddie Mercx the Cannible? Muhamad Ali (a ture champion but during his time his personality was)? John MacEnroe? The Williams Sisters? Tiger Woods? Greg Norman? Michael Shumacker? Mario Andretti? Name 100 of the elite and they are all similar in personality.
RobbieCanuck More than 1 year ago
@ bikerbruce There is much about your comments I don't agree with, but you do raise a number of important issues. 1. Regarding deprivation, the benefits the Postal Service derived from publicity are irrelevant to the fact US Postal was induced to part with money by deceit. It is also my understanding, although I could be wrong about this that, even though the US Postal Service was operated as a stand alone "federal state corporation" one of the victims in this case is the US government and by extension the US taxpayers. It is my understanding that federal government money was indeed used to run US Postal. If Lance were to be convicted of fraud, the fact US Postal gained some publicity value would be something Lance's lawyer could argue as a mitigating factor on sentencing. 2. You are correct to point out that there were others in Lance's coterie who are equally guilty of inducing US Postal to part with sponsoship money by deceit. I have yet to hear anyone from the Department of Justice say those others are immune from prosecution. Theoretically everyone who collaborated with LA would be a party to fraud and a potential defendant along with LA. If the DOJ only prosecuted LA his defence lawyer could win a lot of sympathy from a jury about "selective prosecution" Therefore from a tactical and moral view it would seem prudent to charge every and all. However from a practical point of view, the DOJ would not have been able to get LA without the others and that may justify not charging them (e.g. Hamilton) And at the end of the day LA really ran the show. 3. I disagree with your conclusion that Tygart is only out for self aggrandizement, financial gain and not justice. I have yet to see Tygart seek publicity. Rather it comes to him naturally because of his position with USADA. I have yet to see him extoll his own virtues as an investigator and "prosecutor" and it is likely his contract with USADA prevents him from earning money off the LA case or any other case USADA pursues. He strikes me as a guy who saw through LA's bulls&#t, was determined to get to the bottom of it and pursued LA vigorously but fairly, which is what a good prosecutor does. I suspect LA's prevaricating attitude and arrogance pissed Tygart off and he resolved to do the thorough job he did. 4. Although USADA's investigation pursued LA , don't forget the substance of the case involved a conspiracy and USADA named other parties to the conspiracy as Respondents. They could have added other riders, but their cooperation does deserve some consideration. What USADA did is not unlike what proscutors do everyday, to get the main actor. The LA case is the worse fraud in the history of sport. His case is a microcosm of what is wrong with cycling and by vigorously pursuing LA it exposes the whole sport. 5. Regarding Landis, my read is that Landis has huge financial issues of his own. Besides which he told the truth about the conspiracy ( eventually). The law allows him to do what he is doing in the whistle blower lawsuit. By pursuing it Landis can hopefully repay those people who donated to his defence fund and his legal bills and any other creditors he has. You cannot blame Landis or his lawyer from pursuing a remedy the law permits him to do. It would be normal for Landis to hire a lawyer to guide him through the process and lawyers have special skills when it comes to litigation, so they don't work for nothing and are entitled to get paid. I don't know what you do but I suspect you work for nothing. To call his lawyer a sleazebag and he is in it just for the money is inappropriate and immature. That is how trial lawyers earn their money, they represent people in lawsuits and they don't do it for nothing. 6. I agree with your assessment about how the media rides a golden horse for as long as it can. It is all about business. In the Armstrong case Cycling News capitalized on Armstrong' s success and now they are capitalizing on his downfall. The media has a lot to answer for about the culture of doping and their own wilfull blindness to its existence. They are hypocritical. It may satisfy you to know that in most polls the media rank below lawyers in popularity. 7. Armstrong is no wounded animal. He self-destructed due to his arrogance and hubris. He deserves everything he has coming to him not just because he lied about doping but how he lacked any respect or empathy for those who told the truth about him.. Contrary to your opinion I believe Armstrong is a particularly nasty villain, with no remorse and only self interest behind his coming out. He is so lacking in moral courage he is contemptable. Sadly as you point out it will chase legitimate sponsors away from the sport. But if we the fan demand accountability from everyone from the cyclist to the domestiques to the soigneurs, to the owners and particularly those who adminster the sport perhaps we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
RobbieCanuck More than 1 year ago
@ bikerbruce PS I meant you probably don't work for nothing
Pat McQuaid Must Go More than 1 year ago
Which Federal agent to believe? Yesterday's story of the LA case being dropped.. or today's one that Lance is still under investigation? Maybe the FBI could ask Pat McQuaid to set up an Independent Commission!?
Lord.Bachus More than 1 year ago
I agree that Mc Quaid must go, but they should be carefull not to replace him with another Tugg like Greg Lemond, whome would probably kill someone just to get that job for his own E-peen.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
GLM needs to come clean.
DavePat More than 1 year ago
First you are going to have to provide one, just one single thread of evidence that LeMond doped. Do you have anything ? Anything at all ? Nope - didn't think so.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Mr. GLM would be the first Tour winner in 100 years not to use PED’s GLM has yet to explain how this was accomplished. Statically speaking very improbable…we need all cyclists to come clean.
RobbieCanuck More than 1 year ago
You misunderstand the two avenues of legal investigation the DOJ is looking into, The LA grand jury case was about fraud and the potential for criminal charges againts LA on fraud. The other matter which is still a live investigation is the intimidation of a witness to the fraud case, namely Tyler Hamilton, which could still bring criminal charges against LA.
Sillaz More than 1 year ago
Now every body wants to take advantage of Lance... Sick
Pat McQuaid Must Go More than 1 year ago
As opposed to HIM taking advantage of everybody else!?
reubenr More than 1 year ago
I only hope the story is true. Armstrong deserves to go to jail, period. There is an odd sentiment in the United States that somehow Mr. Armstrong doesn't deserve all this, and that he has done a lot of good. And when this fails to persuade, then there is the question about us spending too much money on pursuing Armstrong thrown up in everyone's face. These are his fans and his lawyers for the most part. Anyone with a neutral, objective mind, however, wonders why the guy is still walking around. The guy is an oil slick. This man has woven such a tangled web that it will be like shooting fish in a barrel, when the prosecutors come back after him, not to mention all the civil suits. The beauty of all of this, of course, is that he is still lying by omission, if not overtly, especially about those things he is down on paper for already.
therod82 More than 1 year ago
How can people write that no crime was committed? In 2005, he testified UNDER OATH that he never used drugs. That's perjury and it is a very serious crime!
Rae N. More than 1 year ago
Just that that incident was in a civil arbitration and not at all connected to the government or its laws, so, no, not a serious crime in that sense.
DavePat More than 1 year ago
Perjury in a civil case is most certainly a prosecutable crime in any language and legal system.
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Lance Armstrong