Armstrong: no surprise doping investigation yielded no charges
AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong said Thursday that he is relieved by the end of a nearly two-year federal investigation into doping allegations against him and he always remained confident he would not be charged.
"It's not a pleasant experience," the seven-time Tour de France winner said in his first interview since prosecutors in Los Angeles closed their investigation Feb. 3. "It was difficult at times. But I was confident that we would always end up in this place."
The federal government's decision should end allegations about performance-enhancing drug use, said Armstrong, 40. As for the World Anti-Doping Agency urging U.S. federal authorities to quickly hand over evidence collected in the investigation aimed at whether he and his teammates joined in a doping program, "I don't want to get bogged down with that. I'm not going to worry about that.''
This year Armstrong plans to compete in Ironman triathlons and support an anti-smoking campaign in California.
Retired Ullrich gets symbolic doping ban
After a prolonged delay, Jan Ullrich, the German who won the 1997 Tour de France, was suspended by a sports appeal body for two years for blood doping. Because Ullrich, 38, retired from racing five years ago, the penalty imposed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport is largely symbolic. He was also stripped of a third-place finish in the 2005 Tour de France, and all his results beginning in May 2005 were annulled.
Isner, Fish open today for U.S. in Davis Cup
Roger Federer faces Tampa resident John Isner today when host Switzerland takes on the United States in the first round of the Davis Cup. Mardy Fish opens for the United States against Stanislas Wawrinka on the indoor claycourt at Fribourg Forum.
COLLEGE football: Tampa Jesuit senior Tommy Eveld accepted an offer to join USF as a preferred walk-on. "I've always wanted to go to USF," the QB said. … Miami will open the season at Boston College on Labor Day weekend, the Boston Globe reported. A day is being finalized. … Georgia AD Greg McGarity said the expanded SEC might mean the 114-year annual series with Auburn will end. … The NCAA rules committee proposed moving kickoffs from the 30-yard line to the 35 and to limit the running start by players on the kicking team to 5 yards as a way of keeping players safer.
Autos: Jack Beckman raced to the provisional No. 1 qualifying position in Funny Car in the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Morgan Lucas led Top Fuel, and Mike Edwards topped Pro Stock. Courtney Force had a 4.210-second pass at 303.16 mph in her first run in Funny Car. She took the provisional sixth spot and will line up next to father John Force in the second round. … Landon Cassill will drive for an unnamed Sprint Cup team that purchased assets and last year's points from now-defunct Red Bull Racing. He'll drive the No. 83 Toyota.
Boxing: Unbeaten junior welterweight champ Timothy Bradley said he agreed in principle to fight Manny Pacquiao on June 9 at MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Bradley's guarantee is believed to be more than $5 million.
Greg Auman, Times staff writer; Times wires