Jack Kingston questions federal probe of Lance Armstrong

U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Savannah, is asking federal officials to defend their doping probe of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, declaring his suspicion that there may be some celebrity-hunting going on. From AFP:

The Georgia Republican made the comments on Friday during a House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on budgeting for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

That is the office whose staffers include agent Jeff Novitzky, who handled the BALCO steroid scandal that rocked baseball and athletics and who is looking into Armstrong.

Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, himself an admitted dope cheat whose use of performance-enhancing drugs cost him a Tour de France crown, said Armstrong and others routinely used banned substances.

Armstrong has steadfastly denied the claims.

“If he has broken the law, then that is a serious matter,” Kingston said. “But it almost appears to me that there’s a little adventurism going on here, that Mr. Novitsky is operating on his own.

“I would like to know how much has been spent on this investigation and why so much has been spent.”

Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, said her agency is looking into Novitzky’s investigation and would provide information on how much the probe is costing.

“I believe millions have been spent, lots of time, and I would like to know what priority that is in the food chain,” Kingston said.

“What I’m very concerned about, and I hope that I’m proven wrong, but (I think it is) that because it’s a celebrity, and one great way to make a name for yourself in this town and in politics is to bring down a celebrity.

“I really believe this is one man’s tear, maybe a personal issue and I’m not sure where the balance is.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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29 comments Add your comment

M Abby

March 12th, 2011
4:13 pm

I am with Jack on this one. Obviously the FDA can find nothing useful to do with taxpayer money, so they are wasting it harassing celebrity athletes(…and on the word of Floyd Landis?). These government empowered jackals need to be put back in their box


March 12th, 2011
4:52 pm

and the republicans attention to job creation fails again.

Cheat to Win

March 12th, 2011
5:25 pm

Given that all, if not 100%, of other Tour de France winners, runners up and strong contenders have been caught at one time or another using banned substances, it’s improbably that superhero Lance is clean. He was the captain of the US Postal Team when he won, and US taxpayers were footing the bill. As a tax payer, I’d like to root this out and be done with the allegations once and for all. If Novitsky can’t press charges, then leave Lance alone. Case closed. But if he’s guilty, I want that sanctimonious hypocrite punished and made an example of.

Alabama Communist

March 12th, 2011
5:38 pm

Sounds like the old rope dope fed move to fool the bicycle fans that riding drunk is a federal offense……


March 12th, 2011
6:02 pm

Why is Lance so special? I am not Barry Bonds fan but the same question can be asked in his case. But the bigger question is why is Kingstin focussed on this issue when job creation was his mantra? I bet if this was the President, Mr. Kingston would have a lot to say about the president’s priorities!


March 12th, 2011
6:59 pm

Ahhhh, another good outlay of non-existent federal funds. Who gives a ***t if Armstrong doped? Same with Bonds. Leave it between the governing body and the athlete. If Bonds/Armstrong juiced, then take away his awards and put a big ole asterisk by his name in the record books. That will hurt them much more than if they lied to some Barney Fife investigator. The FBI has better things to do than sniff around in Armstrong’s medicine chest. Like finding terrorists, perhaps.


March 12th, 2011
8:40 pm

@ Bender

So you endorse the FDA spending time and money on investigating Lance Armstrong? He’s been investigated already, nothing’s gained by this.


March 12th, 2011
8:50 pm

Amazing, it takes 5 minutes to write a letter like this.

Silent Jay

March 12th, 2011
9:43 pm

Bob, how can you do this in only 5 minutes?

Gretta Holt

March 12th, 2011
10:40 pm

We need to recover from the economy. Who cares about Armstrong or Bonds cheating, they are not the first and will not be the last. We need to set priorities in helping people, instead of gossiping and hurting them. No one is perfect. We spend so much money on BS, on things that really does not matter. Look at the money we are spending on Iraq and Pakistan. When will the BS end and the government does whatever, whenever and no one speaks up. What about the cost of gasoline, food and healthcare. Now, these are subjects that are important and need to be investigated and addressed.


March 12th, 2011
10:52 pm

Kingston isn’t concerned about the doping in the first Congressional District. There’s a lot of it down there.

Glass House Rocker

March 12th, 2011
11:20 pm

Didn’t Congress decide there was a conspiracy to kill JFK? How much was spent on that investigation and what were the results? Afganistian? Iraq? Independence from foreign oil?
Education? Jobs?
Congressional Priorities? Surely you jest–Congress doesn’t need no stinking priorities!

Silent Jay

March 13th, 2011
1:03 am

Maybe naming something after Ronald Reagan will remedy this.


March 13th, 2011
5:20 am

The premise of the investigation is Lance defrauded the US Postal Service by cheating to win. I’m confused about how winning defrauded the Postal Service. His wins made their incredibly foolish decision to sponsor EUROPEAN bicycle racing one notch less crazy. The investigation should be against the Postal Service for using funds so foolishly in the first place.

destin dawg

March 13th, 2011
6:24 am

I’m with you HurtWho… Post Office is broke… should be cut in 1/2.. like many Fed. depts.. I mean we all Email.. pay bills on line.. etc… could home deliver mail Mon. Wed. Fri.. for example…


March 13th, 2011
7:41 am

I agree with destin dawg– been saying it for years– cut the post office– deliver to me on Mon, Wed, Fri and another route tues, thur, sat. maybe the bussines district could keep there mail every day through a atrition program but this is the way to reduce the overhead. no one needs junk mail every day.

Buzz G

March 13th, 2011
7:55 am

Someone from the FDA ought to read the US Constitution an have a clue what the role of the Federal Government is. Clearly it is time for the Republicans in Congress to defund this outfit. No need to increase the national debt further.


March 13th, 2011
8:09 am


March 13th, 2011
8:20 am

For the most part,the USPS does not use taxpayer funds. It is self-operating through postal fees, etc. and is intended to break even. So, I’m not aware that any taxpayer money paid for the biking team. Taxpayer money is, however, used to support mailings to the blind and overseas voting. And, with the economic downturn, there was talk of additional assistance and/or cutting services. It is a “quasi”, semi-independent government affiliated agency, but not funded as other government agencies.

If Lance Armstrong did dope, he is the person who could stop any spending on the investigation by admitting to the truth. If innocent, though, I understand his desire to deny it.

As far as the FDA, I would like to see them focus more on investigating the Georgia connected peanut company that intentionally sent tainted peanut products to stores that resulted in death and injury of numerous citizens. That crime is more directly connected to the “food chain” that is one focus of the FDA and those corporate executives should be punished by imprisonment. Sometimes, those types of cases are complex and they give up on the investigations. Or, corporations get “fines” that are small percentages of their profits. These acts were criminal. Where are the government agencies at on this investigation? Can the AJC give an update for us?


March 13th, 2011
8:34 am

What I’d like to know is where Kingston gets his free health care insurance from? Maybe due to his 9 years of time as a Georgia politician, we are still paying his bills.

He’s concerned about the Armstrong investigation when he should be investigated himself.

destin dawg

March 13th, 2011
8:39 am

Ann.. WHERE are the gov’t agencies ???? don’t EVER count on the Gov’t … sleeping… Carter started the Dept. of Energy in 1977 ..saying we would NEVER use more Arab oil than we did in 1977… NOW the Dept. of Energy spends Billions.. employs thousands…. gives tax credits for SUV”s…. FDA and Dept. Education… spending big $$$$ , sleeeping, voting Democrat…


March 13th, 2011
11:51 am

Well, it is about time that someone questioned the waste of FDA funds in chasing Armstrong. At this time who cares? If you take away a yellow jersey will you spend the same on the new winner. He is retired and there is no point. As a Pharmacy Director in a hospital, I would rather have the FDA spend its money on why I can not obtain pharmaceuticals for patients and the gray or black market can. Do something useful with your funding or take it away.


March 13th, 2011
12:20 pm

I’m hard pressed to understand why Mr. Kingston is wasting _his_ time questioning this matter. Armstrong is not a Georgia citizen, and this is not a Georgia issue. How about a little job creation, Mr. K.? Isn’t that what you Repubs promised? Show me the jobs!


March 13th, 2011
12:57 pm

Since when is it the government’s role to create jobs?


March 13th, 2011
1:05 pm

Hey Lynn, it’s kinda hard for Republicans to do anything, when your boyfriend Obama is trying to tax the people who own corporations so much that they can’t afford to hire anybody (not to mention this Obamacare nightmare), and also allowing unions to price American labor out of the market. If you’re a Democrat, and you want to know where the problem is, go in the bathroom, flip on the light, and look in the mirror.


March 13th, 2011
4:15 pm

I never hated the French unytil I found out that bicycle racing is their favorite sport.

Lee Howell

March 13th, 2011
9:28 pm

The federal government needs to leave sports alone – the FDA has plenty of other things to deal with besides this, and this ought to be very low on its priority list.


March 15th, 2011
1:50 pm

Lynn you claim that it is hard for you to understand why the Congressman is wasting his time questioning this matter, as Armstrong is not a Georgia citizen. Did it ever occur to you and anyone else criticizing the Congressman’s comments (claiming he really should be concerned with job growth), that he is doing precisely what he has been elected to do. Where do you think the money comes from for this investigation? Directly from the taxpayers who pay federal income taxes. Federal taxes are not adjusted or distinguished by what State you are from. Getting a grip on federal spending it a multi-headed challenge. Job growth and wasteful spending go hand in hand. The Congressman’s comments are limited to the cost involved. The motivation behind this probe may be more personal than protective of sports integrity. This costs all U.S. Taxpayers money.

World Spinner

March 16th, 2011
11:59 am

Jack Kingston questions federal probe of Lance Armstrong ……

Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……