February 4, 2012
Armstrong off the Fed’s criminal charge hook but the allegations of doping remain
The Associated Press has reported today that the nearly two-year long federal investigation into allegations of doping by Lance Armstrong has come to a conclusion without any charges being filed.
A press release from United States Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. stated his office “is closing an investigation into allegations of federal criminal conduct by members and associates of a professional bicycle racing team owned in part by Lance Armstrong.”
n a “60 Minutes” television interview that aired Sunday, former Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton said he told a grand jury that he and Armstrong participated in well-orchestrated doping regimens to boost their performance on cycling’s biggest stage. Hamilton said Armstrong used the blood-boosting hormone erythropeietin to prepare for his third Tour win in 2001, and that Armstrong told him the international cycling body helped cover up a positive test at a warm-up event in Switzerland.
“We have progressed way beyond the rumor stage,” said Laurie Levenson, a Los Angeles-based criminal law professor for Loyola University. “They are actively engaged in the grand jury stage, most likely with their eye toward an indictment. They are at the wrapping up stage rather than the beginning stage.”
“This is great news,” Armstrong attorney Mark Fabiani said in a statement. “Lance is pleased that the United States Attorney made the right decision, and he is more determined than ever to devote his time and energy to Livestrong and to the causes that have defined his career.”
The probe, anchored in Los Angeles where a grand jury was presented evidence by federal prosecutors and heard testimony from Armstrong’s former teammates and associates, began with a separate investigation of Rock Racing, a cycling team owned by fashion entrepreneur Michael Ball.
U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. announced in a press release that his office “is closing an investigation into allegations of federal criminal conduct by members and associates of a professional bicycle racing team owned in part by Lance Armstrong.”