Federal authorities are investigating Floyd Landis’ charges against Lance Armstrong and other cyclists with an eye toward criminal charges including fraud and conspiracy, the New York Times is reporting.
The UCI, in a statement this morning, said the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency is investigating the case. The UCI has asked the national cycling federations of Belgium, France and Canada to investigate claims about athletes from those countries.
Armstrong’s team, RadioShack, said he expects to be vindicated by an investigation.
“We understand that responsible anti-doping organizations and governmental agencies have an obligation to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, even when those allegations are baseless, incredible, and made by people with improper motives,” a statement posted on the team’s Web site said.
“At the same time,” the RadioShack statement continued, “much of what has been reported in the press is false, sensational and unprofessional.
“If any governmental or anti-doping organizations conduct a proper investigation, Lance looks forward to once again being totally vindicated after a fair investigation.”
The Times, citing two unnamed sources, said that federal authorities — the paper did not say which agency or office was investigating — are considering whether to expand the investigation to include fraud and conspiracy charges.
Landis’ allegations date back to Armstrong’s and Landis’ days on the U.S. Postal Service team. Because of the USPS connection, any conspiracy to use performance enhancing drugs could lead to increased scrutiny because it could be considered tantamount to defrauding the federal government.