Armstrong says lawyer for protection
NEW YORK -- Lance Armstrong says hiring a criminal defense lawyer in the face of a federal investigation for possible fraud and doping violations is merely a matter of protecting himself.
"Obviously, you need some legal counsel on this. ... I wouldn't read anything into it," the seven-time Tour de France champion said after finishing 17th in the 17th stage of this year's race. "I'm 100 percent confident that there will be a satisfactory resolution for me."
The Texan hired Bryan D. Daly, a former federal prosecutor based in Los Angeles who is a partner at Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton.
"This is the United States of America. You can't prosecute somebody for something they didn't do -- normally," Armstrong said. "But along the way, you've got to protect yourself."
The investigation was spurred by accusations from Floyd Landis, Armstrong's former teammate on the U.S. Postal team, in a series of e-mails sent to cycling and doping officials this spring.
Armstrong has denied the allegations and questioned Landis' credibility. Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour title for doping.
"You know, I think anybody involved should have legal protection, and know their rights and know what's truly best for them," Armstrong said. "It's safe to say that I will have representation here, just to be safe."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press