The disgraced former cyclist and Livestrong figurehead could face criminal charges if he is found guilty of “trafficking, distribution and commercialization of doping drugs” while in Spain. If such charges cannot be brought, investigators may not have a case, as taking performance-enhancing substances is not currently a criminal act in Spain. Meanwhile, the country is bidding to host the 2020 Olympics, and so may be looking to clean up its attitude toward drug-taking in sports.
The head of Spain’s anti-doping authority, Ana Munoz, confirmed the investigation.
“What I can tell you so far is that we are following up on the Armstrong case,” she told German TV. “Not only because we were involved in the investigation back then but also because we are really interested that every person, Spanish or not, who has committed a crime in our country be prosecuted.”
The ongoing investigation is focusing on four regions–Tenerife, Alicante, Valencia, and Gerona–where Armstrong spent some years as a resident, during the period when he won his Tour de France titles. The investigation is described as being at an “active and sensitive phase.”
In January 2013, Armstrong appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show, where he confessed to doping, but seemed to do so without much remorse.