Landis says yes. I’m not as convinced. Maybe he is. Maybe he isn’t. We’ll see.
Landis said he is admitting his own drug use and implicating other cyclists to “clear my conscience.” If his allegations are true, they are some of the most damning in the history of cycling. And the information contained in various e mails of Landis’s that have surfaced may not be all that he has told Novitzky. Recently Landis sent a text message to a friend with this prediction about Armstrong: “Big Tex is going to jail.” sportsillustrated.cnn.com.
As a side note, to be clear on this for now and forever, there is one “Big Tex” in my world. And he lives in Tucson. Different guy entirely. I call Armstrong, Armstrong. My man Big Tex is the true holder of the Texas Package. Those who know, know. Those who dream, well, they’re all women.
[Floyd] Landis is cooperating with a federal probe led by Jeff Novitzky, the chief investigator in the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) case and now a special agent for the criminal division of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Two independent sources close to the investigation told SI that Armstrong is part of the focus of Novitzky’s probe. The sources say the investigator is particularly interested in whether Armstrong and some of his teammates were involved in illicit drug activity while they were sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service, which helped fund the team from 1996 (Armstrong joined in ’98) through June 2004. Id.
Feds on it. Razor sharp shark teeth. Blood in the water. Sit back and watch the action. Ships will sink, dynasties will fall, Rome will burn.
Besides Novitzky’s FDA investigation, Landis’s allegations have sparked probes by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). But the most far-reaching investigation figures to be the FDA’s, given the government’s subpoena powers and the track record of Novitzky, whose A-list targets have included Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Marion Jones.
In the past, Novitzky’s investigations of alleged PED use have resulted in criminal charges: bank fraud in the case of Jones, steroid distribution in the BALCO scandal. SI’s sources say that the feds hope Landis and other witnesses can help them answer the following questions:
First, was any federal money used to obtain controlled substances such as steroids and HGH?
. . . Second, who supplied the USPS team with doping supplies and illicit drugs, and how were those items transported and distributed?
. . . As the boss Armstrong might also be vulnerable to prosecution if the feds find that he pressured any other USPS rider to use controlled substances. Id.
This is getting juicy.
The nature — and even existence — of the reported federal investigation into Floyd Landis’ claims against Lance Armstrong and others is unknown. But a San Francisco lawyer who specializes in bringing fraud suits against government contractors says Landis could be acting as a whistleblower for a False Claims Act suit.
. . . A False Claims Act prosecution would have to establish that the team’s management was aware that some athletes on the team doped while sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service. Attorney Paul D. Scott said that could be tantamount to defrauding the federal government.
“Presumably the purpose of sponsorship is for the athletes to reflect well on the sponsor. If it turns out there was illegal drug use and that was known to the company at the time, and the company represented that its athletes were clean, that would be fraud against the government,” said Scott, a former U.S. Department of Justice attorney. velonews.competitor.com.