Lance Armstrong Hires Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney in U.S. Probe

Lance Armstrong, the record seven- time winner of the Tour de France, hired a criminal defense lawyer to help him in an investigation by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles.

Bryan Daly, a white-collar defense attorney with Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, confirmed today in a phone interview that he had been hired by Armstrong. Daly said he had “no idea” yet what the government was looking into.

“We’re trying to find out as soon as possible,” Daly said.

The New York Daily News reported last month, citing unidentified people, that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles is assisting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an investigation of doping allegations by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis. Armstrong told reporters last week in France that he will cooperate with a “credible and fair” investigation.

Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, declined to comment today on the investigation.

Armstrong, 38, won the Tour de France, the sport’s most prestigious event, each year from 1999 to 2005 after surviving testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. The Texas-native has never failed a doping test and has denied using banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Blood Transfusions

Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping, sent e-mails to cycling officials in April and May accusing Armstrong and other members of the team sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service of wrongdoing, including Armstrong using illegal blood transfusions in the 2003 and 2004 Tour.

In a July 3 statement, Armstrong said in response to a Wall Street Journal article detailing Landis’s allegation that these were baseless and that his former teammate had “zero credibility.”

Daly is a former prosecutor who represented securities law firm Milberg LLP in a criminal investigation of illegal kickbacks it paid to clients. The New York firm won dismissal of the charges in 2008 after paying $75 million and accepting responsibility for the conduct of some of its former partners.

The Daily Journal, a legal newspaper in Los Angeles, first reported that Armstrong had hired Daly.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at epettersson@bloomberg.net.

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