Prosecutor: Still no charges against Armstrong
US Attorney says he hasn't changed his mind, despite Armstrong's confession
The U.S. attorney who initially decided against pursuing charges against cyclist Lance Armstrong said Tuesday he has not changed his mind, despite Armstrong's recent admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
"That has not changed my view at this time. Obviously we'll consider, we'll continue to look at the situation, but it hasn't changed our view as I stand here today," Andre Birotte, the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, told reporters at the Justice Department in Washington.
After years of vehemently denying that he used drugs to boost his performance during his record seven Tour de France wins, Armstrong confessed to talk show host Oprah Winfrey last week that he lied.
Last month, a source told CNN that it was unlikely that Armstrong would face criminal fraud or perjury charges in connection with a closed federal investigation, despite his admission of using banned performance-enhancing drugs.
The investigation was closed last February without any charges against Armstrong. Although he has admitted that he lied about his use of banned substances and procedures, he wouldn't face perjury charges in connection with the probe because he never testified in the proceedings, the source said.
The source confirmed that investigators focused their probe on allegations of potential fraud, based on the activity of a racing team partly owned by Lance Armstrong that received a sponsorship contract from the U.S. Postal Service between 1998 and 2004.
Despite Armstrong's statements, the statute of limitations on a criminal fraud scheme is five years, which could pose problems should the government consider reopening the case. Armstrong told Winfrey he stopped doping following his retirement in 2005.
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