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Howman suspects the Armstrong investigation could be as significant as the BALCO case

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Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) in his final Tour

Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) in his final Tour (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Director General of the WADA, David Howman

Director General of the WADA, David Howman (Image credit: AFP)
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Floyd Landis at the New Pathways for Pro Cycling conference in Australia

Floyd Landis at the New Pathways for Pro Cycling conference in Australia (Image credit: kathryn Watt)

The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency David Howman has suggested the US federal investigation currently embroiling Lance Armstrong could become as significant as the BALCO investigation that exposed the use of steroids in baseball and athletics.

Much of the BALCO investigation work was carried out by federal agent Jeff Novitzky. He is also investigating Armstrong and other riders following Floyd Landis' claims of wide-spread doping at the U.S. Postal Service team.

The Associated Press reported Howman as saying that he suspects “some information will come out of the current inquiries that will be equally as significant as BALCO.”

Howman refused to back up his comment with details of the ongoing investigation but said WADA had agreed to pass on any information it may have.

Several witnesses related to the case have already reportedly been questioned in front of a grand jury in Los Angeles in recent weeks. However Armstrong has yet to be formally implicated and has repeatedly denied allegations he took performance-enhancing drugs.

Speaking more specifically about doping problems in cycling, Howman said, “I think that’s a matter for the sport to address.”

“Our job is to make sure the anti-doping program is OK,” he said. “If, after that, we still find people who are cheating, they’ve got to sit back and say, ‘What do we do now?”’