News24

Armstrong fears a 'witch hunt'

2010-07-14 19:15

Chambery - Lance Armstrong said on Wednesday he will cooperate with a "fair investigation" but not a "witch hunt" into allegations that he and his former cycling team were involved in doping.

Armstrong was responding to reports of a US federal investigation of possible fraud and doping charges against him and former associates.

He spoke before the 10th stage of the Tour de France, where he is 31st overall.

The New York Times reported that US authorities have issued grand jury subpoenas to witnesses as part of the probe into allegations made by American cyclist Floyd Landis.

Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour title for doping, said the use of banned substances was common on the US Postal team when he rode with Armstrong.

"Like I said, as long as we have a legitimate and credible and fair investigation, we'll be happy to cooperate, but I'm not going to participate in any kind of witch hunt," the seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor said. "I've done too many good things for too many people."

Armstrong said he had not been subpoenaed or contacted by lead investigator Jeff Novitzky. He said he wasn't aware of any riders who have been subpoenaed.

Armstrong claimed stories are being leaked to the media as part of an "agenda" against him and questioned the need for a federal probe.

"Would the American people feel like this is a good use of their tax dollars?" he said. "That's for them to decide."

Armstrong has said that Landis, who recently admitted to doping after years of denials, cannot be believed. He also said he didn't believe that other riders had come forward with similar allegations.

"I don't think the government will build a case on Floyd Landis," said Armstrong, who has never tested positive for use of banned substances. "His credibility left a long time ago."

Armstrong said the allegations should be investigated by the international cycling body, UCI, or the World Anti-Doping Agency.

"If you think that you have an athlete that's broken the rules - this is not baseball, this is not football ... we have a governing body to deal with that," he said. "I have had 500 (doping) controls in my day. USADA deals with that, the UCI deals with that. WADA deals with that. We have an agency to deal with that. I have no problem playing by those rules."

Armstrong has repeatedly denied any involvement in doping and reiterated that position again on Wednesday.

"As long as I live I will deny that," he said. "There is absolutely no way I forced people, encouraged people, told people, helped people, facilitated ... Absolutely not. 100%."

Armstrong also denied that he was ever a part owner of the Postal Service team, which was owned by Tailwind Sports.

"I was a rider on the team, I was contracted with Tailwind Sports, I never had any dealings - ANY - with the Postal Service - zero," he said.

"I didn't own the company. I didn't have an equity stake. I didn't have a profit stake, I didn't have a seat on the board. I can't be any clearer than that."

AP

Comments
  • Armstrong Fan - 2010-07-14 20:12

    Clearly a case of Landis offering up the biggest fish he can dream up, in order that he, a small fry will be let off the hook while everyone scrambles for the big catch.

  • greg - 2010-07-14 20:43

    Im a synic. Any international winner in atheletics, cycling,power lifting,etc, -uses performance enhancers. Full stop.

  • Gatvol! - 2010-07-14 22:03

    Enough, already! HOW MANY TESTS must Armstrong pass before people stop accusing him of doping? Why can these people not accept that he is innocent of doping? How can you take the word of a known liar and cheat (Landis) and cast doubts on the word of a man who has NEVER failed a test? And, of course, when will the French get over themselves and admit that only Armstrong was able to achieve what he did, and no matter how jealous and insecure they are, they cannot take his achievements away from him? You can't KEEP accusing a man who consistently proves his innocence, time after time, in the hope that one day, in some way, you might just catch him out for something - how many times does ANYBODY have to stand trial for the same crime, and prove his innocence, only to be forced to stand trial AGAIN? ENOUGH ALREADY! LEAVE LANCE ARMSTRONG THE FCUK ALONE NOW!

  • Ghost - 2010-07-14 22:09

    @ Armstrong fan: That still doesn't change the fact that Armstrong took and supplied drugs to others.

  • Rob - 2010-07-14 22:27

    @Ghost, and you know all these facts because !!!!

  • Armstrong Fan - 2010-07-15 00:52

    @Ghost: Lance sold/gave you drugs? [How else could you be so certain of his guilt?] If not, perhaps you'd care to reveal how you can make that statement. @ Greg: Define performance enhancers. Even eating the 'right' foods can 'enhance' all sorts of performances. And you say only international WINNERS use performance enhancers? Not the losers?? Sounds like loser talk or plain old sour grapes.

  • TruBlu - 2010-07-15 06:58

    @Ghost - fact??!! You idiot - if it was a FACT, as YOU claim, then there would not be a need for an investigation...............go play with your mama...........and papa

  • BladeRunner - 2010-07-15 08:46

    Oh come on, everybody knows that all these guys dope. Using drugs that enhance performance but do not show up on the tests has become a million-dollar artform! The riders should just have their drug companies sponsor them and be done with it. And yet everybody still supports the TDF - what wallies! What happened to honour and sportsmanship? Its a laugh, you are all being conned!

  • Look from afar - 2010-07-15 08:46

    Where there is smoke, there is usually a fire. I am of the opinon that Mr Lance used perfomance enhancers, not always but some of the time hence without them he has struggled.

  • LanceFan - 2010-07-15 08:47

    @Ghost you moron. Stop being a troll and spreading lies!

  • Look from afar - 2010-07-15 08:49

    Where there is smoke, there is usually a fire. I am of the opinon that Mr Lance used perfomance enhancers, not always but some of the time hence without them he has struggled.

  • Shaun - 2010-07-15 10:28

    Even if these guys are doping in the off season it does not change the fact that they train hard. It's not a case of take a supplement - get fit -win the TDF. I am sure many pro-sportsmen have dubbled in illegal performance enhancers, but it does not change the fact that they have worked hard and sacfriced alot to compete at an elite level

  • LoveLeTour - 2010-07-15 11:47

    We all love the skinner - but as Lance has proven ad nauseum he does not use, and Landis is a whiny baby - lets just watch this Tour, let Landis whine, and give Lance the support he deserves. If he was just out for the glory he should have given up on stage 3 when he had those horrific accidents - he didn't so I say ALE Lance !!

  • LoveLeTour - 2010-07-15 12:23

    We all love the skinner - but as Lance has proven ad nauseum he does not use, and Landis is a whiny baby - lets just watch this Tour, let Landis whine, and give Lance the support he deserves. If he was just out for the glory he should have given up on stage 3 when he had those horrific accidents - he didn't so I say ALE Lance !!

  • Troll - 2010-07-15 12:51

    At all the la disciples. If Landis is so bad, why is la using the same doctor/trainer that Landis was using when he got bust for doping? la is also a liar, last year he said all the results of his medical tests would be posted on the internet for all to see - did not happen - LIAR!. The last time he "retired" he said no more racing, did not happen - LIAR! Claims to be the most tested athlete in history - wrong - LIAR!

  • John - 2010-07-17 17:46

    How on earth do you prove a negative?????

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