Millions of viewers watch raptly last night as Lance Armstrong appeared in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to discuss the decades-long fight over whether or not he used banned substances in order to win his record seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong has vehemently denied using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs for many years, even after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report released a thousand pages of evidence to the contrary. He has also sued many people who have spoken out against him, using his high profile and wealth to try to quash allegations.
After the interviewed that aired last night, many in North Carolina and around the country are wondering what will come next for Armstrong who has now confessed to involvement an elaborate doping operation on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team.
One possibility is that Armstrong will end up behind bars. If this seems surprising to readers, consider the level of secrecy and deception required to conduct the “most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen” (according to the USADA report). The conduct described in the report could expose Armstrong to criminal charges for money laundering, drug trafficking, supplying illegal drugs to others, and perjury for lying under oath during previous investigations.
This possible criminal liability is one reason why Armstrong’s confession has been so perplexing to many, who wonder what incentive the cyclist and cancer survivor had to come clean now. It seems that his admissions have not helped him with law enforcement officials, since the Department of Justice recently turned down an offer that he made to pay the Postal Service back for sponsorship fees he collected over the years. The payment was intended to prevent fraud charges from being filed.
Source: Fox News, “DOJ reportedly nixes Lance Armstrong $5M offer to head off fraud charge,” Jan. 16, 2013.
Information about how drug charges affect North Carolina residents is available on our website.