AUSTIN, Texas – Lance Armstrong’s cycling career is behind him. Now he says the doping questions should go away as well.
Armstrong says he’s finished talking about doping rumours and allegations that dogged his seven Tour de France titles, after a nearly two-year federal investigation that closed with no charges being filed against him.
In recent interviews with Men’s Journal and the “Gavin Newsom Show” on Current TV, Armstrong said he’s “done” with the performance-enhancing drug question.
“This has been a (13)-year question,” Armstrong said in an interview with Newsom to be aired Friday.
Armstrong, who has always denied doping, pointed to “500 to 600” negative drug tests in his career.
“Blood, urine, hair, whatever they wanted to take. At some point, somebody’s going to have to answer that question,” Armstrong said. “I’m not wasting any more of my time.”
And he’s still being tested. As a competing triathlete, Armstrong is subject to random testing by sports anti-doping authorities. Armstrong is expected to compete in the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii on Oct. 13.
U.S. federal prosecutors in February closed their investigation into Armstrong and allegations of doping on his winning Tour de France teams. Armstrong said then that the end of the investigation should also end any questions about whether he took performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong won every Tour from 1999-2005 and made a comeback to race in 2009-10, though he did not win those events.
“It’s over. I’m moving on,” he told The Associated Press in February.
Armstrong also suggested then that he would ignore attempts by doping investigators to continue looking into his cycling career. The World Anti-Doping Agency has urged U.S. federal authorities to give them evidence collected in the criminal investigation.
“I don’t want to get bogged down with that. I’m not concerned with that. I’m not going to worry about that,” he said at the time.
Through a spokesman, Armstrong declined further comment Wednesday.
One of Armstrong’s accusers, former teammate Floyd Landis, is reportedly under investigation by federal prosecutors for possible wire and mail fraud connected to a defence fund he set up in his unsuccessful fight against doping charges.
Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for performance-enhancing drug use but then raised money through the Floyd Fairness Fund to try and clear his name. He lost his appeal, later admitted to doping and accused Armstrong of also using performance-enhancing drugs.
The U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego has not confirmed such an investigation is under way, though Landis told U-T San Diego that he has received a letter from authorities informing him he is a target of a federal probe.
And Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong’s former mentor and manager of his winning Tour de France teams, was reportedly served with a subpoena when he arrived for this week’s Amgen Tour of California, according to the cycling website VeloNation.com. Bruyneel is manager of the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team.
Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles that investigated Armstrong, said that probe is closed. He had no information on whether another office or agency had subpoenaed Bruyneel.
Philippe Maertens, spokesman for the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team, told the AP via email that he could not confirm if Bruyneel had been served with a subpoena.