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Should the new wording for Lance Armstrong's Livestrong bracelet be Livestrong—with drugs?
That's what sources familiar with an upcoming investigation into Armstrong's recent drug charges say government investigators want to know.
These sources, who have longstanding ties within the big-money cycling world, contend that an investigation is being mounted by government officials and will be launched, possibly as soon as next week. It would culminate what's hardly been a stellar time for the 38-year-old star athlete:
Fellow Tour de France winner Floyd Landis (after confessing to drug usage himself) has accused Armstrong of utilizing performance-enhancing drugs to win his many coveted cycling awards.
Armstrong has not only adamantly denied these charges but added that he "has nothing to hide."
Another recent hurdle for Lance was a crash during the Amgen Tour of California. But, the often rallying cyclist said he would still be hitting the upcoming Tour of Luxembourg, and the Tour de France in July, despite his cut eye and other injuries that required stitches.
"He will do anything to win," says a fellow cyclist who has ridden alongside Armstrong for many competitions. "Anything."
Does that include blood-doping? It's a process called EPO, which is essentially transfusing a rider's blood with performance-enhancing drugs.
Also, the New York Times is reporting federal investigators aren't just stopping at the question of whether athletes like Armstrong participate in what is—according to cycling sources I've spoken with—the very common occurrence of blood-doping. These investigators also apparently have concerns of fraud: Were the sponsors of Armstrong and other athletes' teams defrauded when they were told that Lance and his fellow competitors were achieving their goals drug-free?
This is not Armstrong's first time being accused of using drugs. Early on in his ground-breaking career, In 1996, former Armstrong friends Frankie and Betsy Andreu testified under oath that while Armstrong was discussing his testicular cancer treatments with his physician, he revealed at that time he'd used drugs, including steroids and EPO, allegations Armstrong has denied.
Calls to Armstrong's reps have not yet been returned.