Lance Armstrong

US Attorney says no plan to prosecute Lance Armstrong

“We made a decision on that case, I believe, a little over a year ago.”

US PROSECUTORS SAY they have no plans to press charges against cycling cheat Lance Armstrong, despite his confession that he owes his Tour de France victories to illegal doping.

US Attorney Andre Birotte, who led a federal investigation into the disgraced rider, did not definitively rule out action, but said Armstrong’s public admission had not yet changed the decision not to prosecute.

“We made a decision on that case, I believe, a little over a year ago,” he said, when asked about the status federal inquiry into long-standing claims that Armstrong had run a doping program and had lied to federal agents.

“Obviously we’ve been well-aware of the statements that have been made by Mr Armstrong and other media reports,” he said, referring to Armstrong’s confession on Oprah Winfrey’s broadcast last month.

“That has not changed my view at this time. Obviously we’ll consider — we’ll continue to look at the situation, but that hasn’t changed our view as I stand here today,” Birotte said, at a news conference in Washington.

The 41-year-old Texan rider was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles last year after the US anti-doping agency gathered compelling testimony that he had been the ring-leader of a large-scale doping conspiracy.

He had long angrily protested his innocence, including in questioning by US federal agents investigating the same allegations, but the mask fell away last month when he confessed his guilt to Oprah in detail.

The confession threw up a number of legal questions, including whether the federal probe might be re-opened, whether he might be prosecuted for perjury and whether sponsors might sue to recover former payments and prize money.

- © AFP, 2013

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