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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lance Armstrong Doping Story Points Toward S.F. Company

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 7:54 AM

Page 3 of 3

In the United States doping is not a crime.

So in trying to speculate what sort of criminal prosecution might emerge from the Novitzky investigation, it's necessary to look at potentially illegal activities related to the alleged U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team doping program.

These might include trafficking, acting as a physician without a license, endangering public health, conspiracy to do any of these, or defrauding the U.S. government.

That last potential offense emerges thanks to that anti-doping clause in the U.S. Postal Service sponsorship contracts.

Had the U.S. government agency been told the truth about doping, it might have been able to halt a sponsorship program reported to have cost the U.S. Postal Service $32 million. But if there was a conspiracy to cheat, it purportedly began without Armstrong's help.

According to CBS:

It was 1997 - Hamilton says he had never doped before, but now a team doctor said that he could make the Tour de France team if he used EPO.

"He recommended and thought it was a good idea for both the team, for myself, and for my health that I take some therapy as he called it. And that was, so he was ... recommending that I take EPO," Hamilton told Pelley.

When asked what he thought in that moment, Hamilton told Pelley, "Yeah it was a pretty emotional moment. I told him that I needed a little bit of time to think about it, and basically I was starting to see a little bit of the dirty side of the sport -- It was tough. I felt like at this point in my career I was so close to the goal, I've gotta do it."

Pelley then asks: "You were concerned in that moment that if you didn't do the EPO you wouldn't make the 'A' team, you wouldn't ride the Tour [de France], is that right?"

"Yeah," Hamilton said. "I kinda felt like I owed it to myself to look the other way and keep going forward.

As a federal investigation continues, the way forward seems less clear for the owner of of the team that allegedly pressured Hamilton to make his choice.

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