A two-year US Federal investigation into allegations of doping centring on Lance Armstrong was closed on Friday with no charges brought against the seven-time Tour de France winner.

The investigation commenced in early 2010 to determine whether Armstrong and his former team-mates at US Postal had taken banned performance enhancing substances. During the investigation, inspectors collected statements from many of Armstrong’s former team-mates and associates.

US Attorney Andre Birotte Jr released a statement on Friday saying that his office was “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.”  

No reason for closing the investigation has yet been given. Food and Drug Administration criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky lead the investigation, which had latterly been dogged by leaks to the media.

Armstrong’s attorney Mark Fabiani released a statement soon after the US Attorney’s announcement that the case had been dropped: “This is great news. 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 investigation into Armstrong gathered pace in April 2010, when Armstrong’s former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis alleged widespread doping in the team. Another former team-mate of Armstrong’s, Tyler Hamilton, also came forward in May 2011 to say that he had doped during his time on the team and alleged that he had seen Armstrong take banned blood booster EPO.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has said that it will continue to investigate allegations of doping. “Unlike the US Attorney, USADA’s job is to protect clean sport rather than enforce specific criminal laws,” said a USADA statement. “Our investigation into doping in the sport of cycling is continuing and we look forward to obtaining the information developed during the federal investigation.”

Armstrong won the Tour de France a record-breaking seven times between 1999 and 2005. Armstrong announced his retirement from professional cycling in February 2011.

Related links



Armstrong investigation arrives in Europe



Armstrong’s team mate Popovych testifies he did not witness doping



Armstrong’s team-mate Popovych summonsed in doping investigation




Landis admits he doped and implicates others

  • martin

    Not surprised in the least, he’s a rich man and this is the USA

    OJ Simpson got away with it so why not Lance?

  • Mike

    Why is everyone who has natural scepticism regarding Armstrongs results branded a “hater”.

    I dont hate anyone.
    I love cycling and pro cycle racing, so as far as I am concerned anyone who is found to have cheated my sport deserves to be found out and punished.
    I am afraid the weight of reported and anecdotal evidence is so strong that it need to be invertigated thouroughly.

    Also, when questioned on doping Lances response is always ” I have never tested positive”. So what. Riis, Ullrich, Virenque, Millar, etc, etc ,etc, never tested positive and were later all proved to be dopers.
    If Armstrong is so against doping why has he never come out and stated “I have never used performance enhancing drugs, or blood doping, and I am 100% for clean sport”.
    If he had once taken a stance against doping I would be more inclined to believe him.
    As it stands, during his seven wins, most, if not all of his closest adversaries were proved to be doping, but he still murdered them, by huge margins.
    So, if he was clean, and they were all on EPO, that would make him a superman.
    If something looks too good to be true, It usually is.

  • Jon C

    Getting away with it isn’t the same as not cheating, and while I wouldn’t condemn Lance out of hand, the evidence, to my mind, makes it a lot more likely that he doped than not. No amount of whitewash or name calling by misguided apologists is going to change that.

  • Andy Ryan

    Ok so not enough evidence of criminal activity – in terms of misusing federal funds to perpetuate fraud.

    Be interesting to see what USADA make of it.

    UCI view seems strange -“We won’t comment on USADA and what they might do. We don’t want to keep looking behind us, there’s nothing there, and the investigation proved that”. Oh, have they seen the evidence from the investigation then? From the press release the investigation did not prove there was no doping. What it did was not find enough evidence of doping funded by federal dollars. To me what’s been leaked does not sound like “nothing”.

    Anyway I don’t hate the guy but I doubt a federal investigation would go on this long without any smoke being evident.

    Enjoy your own riding.

  • Lee

    Robert,

    I’m not a loser, I’ve been in the sport a long time and seen a lot of riders I admired brought down by doping. Forgive my scepticism, if you please.

  • Neil

    Great stuff! Lol!
    Can’t wait to read the comments that are bound to follow.
    Livestrong!!

  • arronski

    Great news for the future of Cycling sport, did he or didn’t he will run and run, to me he is a Legend and that’s all that matters make your own minds up and move on !

  • Hovis

    …and so the great cycling divide continues. None of us speak for ‘most of us who ride,’ though this tends to be a claim of the Lance fans. You can’t deny that there are a substantial amount of very credible people who are of the opinion that he’s got away with it. So far…
    The more you read about it and the less blinded you are by the aura of the sun shining out of his backside, the more it seems the guy has got something to hide.

  • Pete

    You need to read the article again. The few remaining Lance fans may be cheering today, but….

    “The United States Anti-Doping Agency has said that it will continue to investigate allegations of doping. “Unlike the US Attorney, USADA’s job is to protect clean sport rather than enforce specific criminal laws,” said a USADA statement. “Our investigation into doping in the sport of cycling is continuing and we look forward to obtaining the information developed during the federal investigation.” “

  • Jeremy Phillips

    Robert – Lance’s critics mostly are not haters, they’re just not naive about the doping culture of the 90’s and early 2000s. It’s pretty well recorded what went on (see ‘Bad Blood'; ‘Dog in a Hat'; David Millar’s book; Tyler Hamilton’s or George Hincapie’s testimony etc etc) Lemond most likely rode clean and spoke out against doping, so got marginalised as has famously happened with others who have broken the omerta. It’s easier to brand him a whack job than engage with his argument in a proper debate. And unfair.

  • jack arnold

    Time to end this blatent Whitch Hunt!

  • katie

    Robert, I think you should re read the article, it is only the Federal Investigation that has been dropped, nowhere did it say he was guilty or not guilty only that they were not proceeding.
    The USADA is still investigating him as per the quote below, lifted from the article
    ” a USADA statement.
    “Our investigation into doping in the sport of cycling is continuing and we look forward to obtaining the information developed during the federal investigation.”

  • Robert Markle

    Know what people like me who really enjoyed watching the guy compete are not surprised.
    And the haters will never shut. A lot of them are losers anyway in my eyes. Greg Lemond the guiltiest whack job of them all.
    Lance will always be a major cycling legend to most of us who ride.
    Good health to you Sir and carry on.