Cyclist Lance Armstrong admits doping in an interview with
Oprah Winfrey. REUTERS/Harpo Studios
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong's public admission that
he took performance-enhancing drugs will not change US
prosecutors' decision to spare him of criminal charges, an
attorney who oversaw the federal investigation said.
The statement by André Birotte, the US attorney based in Los
Angeles, follows Armstrong's confession in a televised
interview last month.
"We made a decision on that case a little over a year ago.
Obviously, we've been well aware of the statements that have
been made by Mr. Armstrong in other media reports. That does
not change my view at this time," Birotte said at a news
conference in Washington to announce an unrelated lawsuit
against Standard & Poor's.
The government will continue to look at the case, Birotte
added, but Armstrong's admission "hasn't changed our view as
I stand here today."
In February 2012, Birotte said his office had closed its
investigation into possible crimes by Armstrong.
Speculation about charges began anew after Armstrong reversed
his past doping denials in an interview with talk show host
Oprah Winfrey. He told Winfrey he used performance-enhancing
drugs and doping in cycling tournaments.
Legal experts said Armstrong exposed himself to possible
charges of perjury or obstruction of justice.
Separately, Armstrong faces a civil whistleblower lawsuit
filed by former teammate Floyd Landis accusing Armstrong of
fraud. The U.S. Justice Department has not said whether it
intends to join the suit, and Birotte did not address the
suit at the news conference.
Armstrong has been banned from cycling for life and stripped
of race wins, including seven Tour de France victories.
A lawyer for Armstrong did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.