NPR logo Armstrong Hires Defense Attorney Amid Doping Charges


Armstrong Hires Defense Attorney Amid Doping Charges

Armstrong in a descent during 16th stage. Joel Saget/Getty Images hide caption

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Joel Saget/Getty Images

Lance Armstrong and his fellow Tour de France competitors are not only suffering the pain of hill climbs in the Pyrenees, but also are having to dodge sheep.

The Tour ends Sunday and at 38, Armstrong is not riding up to his legend this time.

"It was harder than I expected. It's been a while since I sprinted," he said last week after a particularly grueling stage. "[I'm] just not quick enough. I'm not the best guy in the race but I still have the spirit of a fighter."

The seven-time Tour champ, who said last month that this will be his last, is going to need every bit of fight to combat accusations that he used performance-enhancing substances during past competitions.

First the charges came from disgraced former teammate Floyd Landis, who had to give up his 2006 Tour victory after he was found to be doping. Now, three-time Tour de France champ Greg LeMond is weighing in, saying he thinks the evidence against Armstrong "will be overwhelming."

Last week, Armstrong said as long as the investigation was "legitimate and credible and fair" he'd be happy to cooperate with investigators.

"But I'm not going to participate in any kind of witch hunt," Armstrong said. "I've done too many good things for too many people."

Even so, Armstrong has called in a big gun, criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, Bryan D. Daly, to represent him.