Federal investigators are in the midst of an active criminal investigation of disgraced former Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, ABC News has learned.
The revelation comes in stark contrast to statements made by the U.S. Attorney for Southern California, Andre Birotte, who addressed his own criminal inquiry of Armstrong for the first time publicly on Tuesday. Birotte’s office spent nearly two years investigating Armstrong for crimes reportedly including drug distribution, fraud and conspiracy — only to suddenly drop the case on the Friday before the Super Bowl last year.
Sources at the time said that agents had recommended an indictment and could not understand why the case was suddenly dropped.
Today, a high level source told ABC News, “Birotte does not speak for the federal government as a whole.”
According to the source, who agreed to speak on the condition that his name and position were not used because of the sensitivity of the matter, “Agents are actively investigating Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation.”
An email to an attorney for Armstrong was not immediately returned.
Lance Armstrong REFUSES to return $12million in bonuses… as it’s revealed he’s under active criminal investigation for lying and concealing his doping
Lance Armstrong will not be paying back the the millions he collected in bonuses during three of his seven Tour de France victories.
It’s the latest outrage since the shamed cyclist admitted using performance-enhancing drugs and doping in his career.
Armstrong’s lawyer told USA Today that his client has no intention of repaying Texas-based SCA Promotions, which paid and insured the $12million he was awarded in bonuses during three of his seven Tour de France wins.
Those victories came in 2002, 2003 and 2004 – all races in which Armstrong admitted that he cheated to win.
The dispute may now end up in court, as the company says it will file a lawsuit to get the funds back.
But the Armstrong camp insists that the money is his, and it’s non-refundable.
Mr Herman told USA Today: ‘My only point is no athlete ever, to my understanding, has ever gone back and paid back his compensation. Not [New Orleans Saints coach] Sean Payton or anybody else.