Spain Investigating Lance Armstrong

Wake of USADA effort spreads

Ana Munoz at USADA

Ana Munoz at USADA     Photo: USADA

On February 20, the United States Anti-Doping Agency tweeted two messages that have more relevance after a report surfaced yesterday that Spain is investigating Lance Armstrong for issues related to doping.

"International cooperation is an important part of the fight to protect the rights of clean athletes," they wrote. "USADA was glad to welcome the new director of Spain's anti-doping agency, Ana Munoz, to our offices today."

Along with the second message, the agency included a photo of Munoz speaking to a room full of USADA staff.

Armstrong, who lived in Girona, Spain, is also being investigated in the regions of Alicante, Valencia, and Tenerife, according to ABC. In Daniel Coyle's book, "The Secret Race," there's a scene in which Floyd Landis watched over a fridge in Armstrong's Girona apartment to make sure the blood inside didn't go bad in the case of an electrical failure. The exact charges that might result from the Spanish investigation are unclear.

Spanish law does not make it a crime for an athlete to use performance enhancing drugs for personal use. In certain cases, athletes can be fined and have their licenses suspended.

However, if investigators can prove "trafficking, distribution and commercialization of doping drugs," that is a criminal offense carrying as many as two years in prison and fines of as much as 400,000 euros.

The investigation is described as being in a "very active and sensitive" phase.

"What I can tell you so far is that we are following up on the Armstrong case," Munoz told German television station ARD. "Not only because we were involved in the investigation back then but also because we are really interested that every person, Spanish or not, who has committed a crime in our country be prosecuted." 

For more read "Lance Armstrong Faces Possible Criminal Case in Spain" and "USADA collaborating with other agencies in wake of Armstrong affair."

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