Lance Armstrong says he’s at Australia’s Tour Down Under to ride in the final international event of his long and storied career.
While Armstrong says he’s focusing on racing in Australia, the former Tour de France champion is getting as much, if not more, attention due to the fact that he is the subject of an ongoing Federal grand jury investigation back in the United States. That attention intensified Wednesday as the American magazine Sports Illustrated released a lengthy article on the state of the investigation and some of the allegations the grand jury is reviewing.
As part of the deal involving a hefty appearance fee paid to Armstrong for participating in the TDU, the RadioShack team leader has been holding daily press conferences to discuss the race, Australia and his own plans for the future. Reporters in the room on Wednesday, however, appeared to be more interested in asking about the latest Sports Illustrated article.
Armstrong was clearly not interested in discussing the topic.
Justin Davis, Agence France Presse: There is a report on Sports Illustrated …
Armstrong: I don’t have anything to say.
Davis: … quite detailed …
Armstrong: Like I said, I have nothing to say.
Davis: Allegations that you used …
Armstrong: You got a new question?
Davis: Have you read the article?
Armstrong: I’ve perused it. There is nothing there.
Davis: Landis retiring yesterday.
Armstrong: Nothing to say about that either.
Davis: Lance, there is a quote mentioned …
Armstrong: I told you, you keep asking me.
Davis: Yaroslav Popovych was…
Armstrong: Dude, are you that stupid? Which part of ‘I am not commenting’ is not clear to you?
Davis: I am not stupid, I am just asking …
Armstrong: I am sorry, you’re not stupid, but you can’t hear. Do you have any more questions?
Davis: That’s okay, Lance. I am just here to do my job, Lance, just like you.
Roger Vaughan, Australian Associated Press: I can hear it, I am not stupid. A couple of big stories. What is your mood?
Armstrong: I’m fine. I don’t have anything to worry about on any level. It has nothing to do with what’s going on overseas.