After weeks of public lashings and millions in lost sponsorship deals, Lance Armstrong finally received a shred of good news today.
While Armstrong’s primetime television doping confession may have changed how people feel about the cancer-surviving former cycling champion, one person’s view remained unchanged: Andre Birotte Jr., the U.S. attorney who led the criminal probe into the cyclist.
Birotte, at an unrelated press conference at the Justice Department today in Washington, D.C., said he was “well aware” of Armstrong’s decision last month to come clean about years of doping. Still, the Los Angeles-based U.S. attorney told reporters today, his February 2012 decision not to pursue charges against the cancer survivor and former seven-time Tour de France champion stands.
“Obviously we’ll continue to look at the situation, but it hasn’t changed our view as we stand here today,” Birotte said.
That should serve as at least one piece of good news for Armstrong, who told cable television’s Oprah Winfrey during his two-night prime-time confession that he lived “this mythic, perfect story and it wasn’t true.”
Armstrong told the former day-time talk show host that he has lost millions of dollars in endorsement deals after he was banned in October from competing in Olympic-level sports after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency published a 1,000-page report that it had found proof he engaged in serial cheating.
Armstrong’s trouble with the federal authorities may not be over, however. Floyd Landis, a former teammate, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. government claiming Armstrong violated a sponsorship deal with the Postal Service by doping. The Justice Department maintains the option of joining that suit.