Aspen, Colorado, police cite former cycling champ Lance Armstrong with two traffic offenses
His longtime girlfriend, Anna Hansen, first told police she was driving when the wreck occurred, police said
Former cycling champ Lance Armstrong struck two parked vehicles as he drove home from a night of partying but wasn’t charged until his longtime girlfriend said she wasn’t behind the wheel, according to police in Aspen, Colorado.
Armstrong, 43, was cited for two misdemeanors: Duty to report accidents and exceeding the safe speed for conditions, police said. Police served a summons on Armstrong through his lawyer so Armstrong was not questioned by police or quoted in the police report.
The same charges had been filed against his girlfriend, Anna Hansen, 33, but were dropped after she admitted lying, the police report said. No other charges were filed.
When asked if Armstrong persuaded her to take the blame, Hansen said, according to the police report: “No, that was a joint decision and um, you know we’ve had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and … I thought, ‘Gosh, Anna Hansen hit some cars, it’s not going to show up in the papers, but Lance Armstrong hit some cars, it’s going to be a national story.’ “
The arrest is another embarrassing incident for Armstrong, who fell from grace after being one of the world’s most revered and inspirational athletes.
Armstrong recovered from a near-fatal bout of testicular cancer and went on to win seven Tour de Frances, raising millions for cancer research and making millions for himself. But rumors he used performance-enhancing drugs dogged him for years. In 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency filed a report alleging Armstrong was at the center of a doping program during his heyday in cycling – something Armstrong had always denied.
After he stopped contesting the doping allegations, Armstrong was stripped of his Tour de France titles and Olympic cycling medal. He went on Oprah Winfrey’s television network and admitted he doped and had lied about it. He was sued and lost endorsements.
Hansen told police she drove an SUV home from an art museum party the night of December 28 because “Lance had a little bit to drink,” the report said.
She said she lost control on a snowy street, hit two parked vehicles, parked around the corner and provided contact information to the people renting the vehicles, the report said. She told them she and Armstrong would pay for the damage and drove home, the report said. Police talked to her the next day and got her side of the story.
The officer was suspicious of Hansen’s story and talked to a car valet at the museum, who said Armstrong drove away that night, the report said.
On December 31, Hansen talked to police again, this time with her lawyer, and changed her story to say Armstrong was the driver.
When the officer asked if Armstrong was intoxicated, as she earlier indicated, Hansen said, according to the report: “He was not intoxicated, and that was um, you know, I’m sorry I lied to you that morning but I was trying to make it sound like, well, I was driving because that was just, I don’t know, I’m not in the habit of lying in general and especially not to police officers so, I don’t know, I was just trying to make something up at that time.”
She said Armstrong is “prepared to admit driving the car and accept responsibility for the crash,” the report said.
Armstrong is scheduled to appear in Pitkin County Court on March 17.