Armstrong: Charity As Shield Against Investigation

In case you haven’t been paying attention, the walls are finally closing in on Lance Armstrong. The bloodhound Federal investigator who forever tainted Barry Bonds, Jeff Novitzky, is now on Armstrong’s trail and by all indications, it isn’t going to end well for the cyclist.

Lance Armstrong rips Tony Kornheiser on Twitter

(Armstrong’s Barry Bonds-esque prickly personality fueling investigation?)

In order to nail Armstrong to the floorboards as a PEDs user, Novitzky is following the money trail to Armstrong’s alleged PED operations over the years. Novitzky’s case against the cyclist centers on two key accusations:

1) Armstrong assisted in secretly diverting money from former cycling team sponsor U.S. Postal Service to fund a PEDs operation for himself and teammates.
2) Armstrong assisted in secretly selling professional cycles made by the Trek company that were intended for his teammates to fund a PEDs operation for himself and teammates. (Floyd Landis accusation.)

Armstrong has already repeatedly denied involvement of such activity, but recently was caught in a lie about his role on the U.S. Postal Service team by the NEW YORK TIMES.

Armstrong claimed last week that he had zero role in the management of the U.S.P.S. team, that he was a mere employee who only followed orders. But the NYT turned up evidence to the contrary, revealing that Armstrong had been given a significant equity stake in the company that owned the U.S.P.S. team and that the cyclist was also partners with a company called Capital Sports Management.

Capital Sports & Entertainment’s Web site says it had direct dealings with the Postal Service when it sponsored the team. “In its role as manager, C.S.E. handled all aspects of this legendary professional cycling team,” including an $18 million annual budget, the Web site said.

If Armstrong has nothing to hide, why did he misrepresent his business interest in the U.S.P.S. team? The U.S.P.S. contradiction looks very bad for Armstrong, and that wasn’t what Floyd Landis recently accused him of!

Worse yet is another defense Armstrong rolled out against the investigation last week to reporters in France.

Armstrong on cooperating with investigators:

“Do the American people feel like this is a good use of their tax dollars? That’s for them to decide. Like I said, as long as we have a legitimate and credible and fair investigation, we’d be happy to cooperate. But I’m not going to participate in any kind of witch hunt. I’ve done too many good things for too many people.”

Why would an innocent man invoke his charity work as a defense for alleged wrongdoing?

Even more telling is Armstrong now throwing his cycling teammates under the bus:

“I can’t speak to what (they) did themselves. I can’t control that. It would be like me asking you, ‘Listen, do you think there’s any abuse of performance-enhancing drugs in the NFL in the offensive line?’ Most people would say probably yes. Does that mean Peyton Manning is guilty? I mean, I can’t control what other riders do.”

If Armstrong wasn’t so egomanical and relentlessly self-righteous, would he be in a position where he may soon lose everything … including his dignity?

Did Armstrong learn nothing from Barry Bonds?