Low-key probe has high stakes for Lance Armstrong

If you thought Federal investigators would be deterred by the swing and miss that resulted from the years and millions expended pursuing Barry Bonds, think again. It isn't their money after all. And they have to devote their time to something. And in the process make a name for themselves. It is a time honored tradition. With Bonds off the market, they've now set their focus squarely on Lance Armstrong.

According to Associated Press officials in France, where Armstrong forged his legacy by winning the pre-eminent cycling event seven straight times, investigators have been asked to help U.S. authorities gather evidence against the Texan.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied using performance enhancing drugs and has never failed a drug test. Sounds pretty sinister huh?

According to the AP, a person familiar with the probe says this isn't anything like the Bonds or Roger Clemens cases as they were both brought up on charges of perjury related, for lying about drug use under oath.

Armstrong has never been in the dock hence he's never testified under oath, hence no perjury. End of story. Not with investigator Jeff Novitzky and prosecutor Doug Miller smelling blood, or at the least, the opportunity to gild their reputations with an eye to higher office.

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican was in the Feds face as they pursued Bonds. "What bothers me is that you've got a very powerful federal government that has the money and time and resources to ruin someone's reputation," he said in the course of the 8-year Bonds' drive.

He's now asked Novitzky's superiors at the Food and Drug Adminstration to detail how much money they've spent on pursuing what they foresee as fraud charges against Armstrong. According to the AP, the agency has yet to deliver the goods.

Your tax dollars at work.

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