Was the Lance Armstrong Doping Case Whitewashed by U.S. Attorney While Investigation Continued?

Friday, February 17, 2012
André Birotte Jr.
A federal prosecutor’s decision to drop the investigation of cyclist Lance Armstrong has raised more questions than answers, especially given the timing of the decision.
 
U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. announced that the 20-month probe was over on February 3, the Friday before the Super Bowl. As a general rule in the media world, Fridays are only good for making announcements if someone wants to bury a particular news item.
 
More importantly, Birotte began making plans for his announcement while federal law enforcement agencies were still interviewing witnesses as late as the day before and the day of the February 3 decision.
 
Not only was the investigation still underway, but prosecutors and agents working under Birotte were already inclined to indict Armstrong based on the information they had gathered. Sources told The Wall Street Journal that the cyclist was facing charges of mail fraud, drug distribution, money laundering and witness tampering before the case was closed.
 
Lester Munson at ESPN said it is possible White House politics may have played a role in Birotte’s unexpected move.
 
“With critics already ripping the prosecutions of Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens as wastes of government resources, an indictment of Armstrong might have been a thorny issue for President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder as the nation heads to the polls in November,” wrote Munson.
 
On the same day that Birotte made his announcement, Armstrong himself announced that his foundation was donating $100,000 to Planned Parenthood to support New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s matching funds challenge.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
To Learn More:
Officials Clashed on Armstrong (By Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell, Wall Street Journal)

Suspicious Call on Lance Armstrong (by Lester Munson, ESPN) 

Comments

Fred 2 years ago
lance was positif in the 1999 tour de france but they never found the b sample to be tested. the same year he gave $500,000 to the uci. he was also tested positif in an other tour but got a doctor note weeks after to state he was sick.very convenient. also i believe politics was the reason to drop as he's a very good friend of bush and france president sarkosy and other hight level politician. why all of he's competitors that he beats finished to said that they use drugs. but him who never won or finished the tour before he got sick was clean! it's time to open your eyes people. i believe that the sport needed a hero and the us too at the time and he was the perfect guy to do it. what a beautiful come back!
Caroline Corman 2 years ago
before lance can be convicted or prosecuted, there must be more than here say evidence. i don't think he has ever tested positive. the french have publicly accused him, but he has competed in the tour de france after the allegation was made. anyway, there are always sore losers, and i suspect they were partners in crime, if he is guilty.
Laz 2 years ago
the witness tampering, by accounts, was lance having a few words with one of his former friends and accuser in a chance meeting in a restaurant, likely set-up. if that relects the integrity of the investigation, then if is perhaps best the feds dropped it.

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