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Lance Armstrong investigated for drug trafficking, no charges filed

Most people in Sacramento know who Lance Armstrong is, but it is likely that it is his cycling fans who are breathing a sigh of relief after the United States attorney for the Central District of California recently announced that its criminal investigation into allegations that Lance Armstrong was trafficking narcotics has been dropped. Prosecutors were considering filing federal drug trafficking charges against the cycling great after former teammate Floyd Landis implicated Armstrong in a team-wide doping scandal.

The trafficking and conspiracy investigation arose when investigators became concerned that money from the United States Postal Service was used to purchase performance-enhancing drugs. The Postal Service was the sponsor of the first four teams Armstrong competed for in the Tour de France. Initial investigations centered on where the money came from for the alleged drug purchases. Investigators also attempted to determine if Armstrong had defrauded the Postal Service by promising to refrain from using performance-enhancing drugs.

Federal drug crimes are extremely serious and anyone who is accused of drug trafficking should seek help from an experienced federal criminal defense attorney immediately. While it is obvious that Armstrong would have been able to afford a fine, many convictions under federal drug laws carry long prison sentences. Luckily, however, the U.S. Attorney chose to drop the investigation and not seek criminal charges against Armstrong.

The prosecutor has refused to talk about why he is not filing charges, but it indicates that there was very little evidence that Armstrong was guilty. Armstrong has long been the focus of international scrutiny because of his tremendously successful career and that he first won the Tour de France after one of the largest performance-enhancing drug scandals in cycling's history.

Source: The New York Times, "Inquiry on Lance Armstrong Ends With No Charges," Ian Austen, Feb. 3, 2012

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