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Federal Prosecutors Drop Investigation of Lance Armstrong

New York Times

Federal prosecutors announced Friday that they had closed their investigation of Lance Armstrong without charging him, nearly two years after they began looking into possible crimes related to allegations that he and his cycling teammates participated in illegal doping.

The possible crimes being investigated included the defrauding of the government, drug trafficking, money laundering and conspiracy involving Armstrong and other top cyclists. In particular, the authorities were exploring whether money from the United States Postal Service, the main sponsor of Armstrong’s team from 1996 to 2004, was used to buy performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, has always emphatically denied any accusations that he used illegal performance-enhancing drugs. He has long fought off suspicions that his Tour titles were tainted by performance-enhancers, and he has never officially tested positive for an illegal substance. (At the 1999 Tour, he failed a test for a corticosteroid but produced a doctor’s note for it.)

John Keker, Armstrong’s lead lawyer in the case, said: “They made the right decision, and they made it on their own.”

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Since founding the firm with law school classmate Bill Brockett in 1978, John Keker has built a reputation as one of the country's top trial lawyers. Four decades of jury trials in white collar criminal cases, complex commercial and intellectual property cases, antitrust and securities cases, even palimony cases, establish him as the lawyer clients turn to for their most important and high-profile litigation problems.

Mr. Armstrong was also represented by Keker & Van Nest Partner Elliot Peters. For three decades Mr. Peters has litigated, tried and advised clients in some of the nation's most high-profile, high-stakes complex commercial and white collar criminal cases. Mr. Peters has tried more than 50 cases on behalf of CEOs, leading law firms, and major corporations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has also been named Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer and The Recorder, the Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer, and one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California by the Daily Journal.