Found in the DenverPost and written by Jesse Paul
Lance Armstrong’s girlfriend lied to police and took the blame after the infamous cyclist drove an SUV into two parked vehicles in Aspen after a December night out at a ritzy hotel event, police records show.
Armstrong, 43, was issued a summons and faces charges of duty to report accidents and exceeding safe speeds for conditions after Aspen police discovered the cover-up.
Armstrong’s girlfriend, Anna Hansen, 33, initially took the blame for the crashes, telling police that she was behind the wheel of Armstrong’s GMC Yukon. Hansen later admitted to investigators that Armstrong was behind the wheel.
Immediately after the late-night crash, the Armstrong car parked around the corner and then Hansen ran in high heels through the snow towards the two vehicles Armstrong had hit, apologizing to a homeowner whose in-laws were renting the damaged SUVs.
“She said, ‘I’m Anna, we’re the Armstrongs, my husband’s Lance, he was just driving maybe too fast around the corner or something,'” the man told police.
Hansen told the man she and Armstrong would “pay for everything” and left her name and number before leaving, the man told police. Investigators contacted Hansen after the crash in what was initially called a hit-and-run.
Hansen said Armstrong “had a little bit to drink” and so she drove home from the Dec. 28 Aspen Art Museum’s “freestyle gala” at the St. Regis Aspen Resort, according to a police report.
An investigator reviewed surveillance video from the gala and saw Armstrong get into the driver’s seat of the vehicle and leave, which was corroborated by a valet.
When confronted about the discrepancies in her story, Hansen maintained that she was driving when the crash happened and that she and Armstrong had switched places after they left the party.
On Dec. 31, Hansen came to the Pitkin County courthouse in Aspen with her attorney and admitted to being the passenger that night. She also said that Armstrong was driving when the crashes happened.
“We’ve had our family name smeared over every paper in the world in the last couple of years and honestly, I’ve got teenagers, I just wanted to protect my family because 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,'” Hansen told investigators.
Hansen said that Armstrong did not ask her to take the blame and that the decision to deceive police was a joint one, records say. The couple parked around the corner out of view after the crashes before Hansen ran back to apologize, records show.
“I’m sorry I lied to you that morning but I was trying to make it sound like well I was driving,” Hansen told an investigator, the report said. ” … 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.”
Hansen said Armstrong was not intoxicated when he drove into the parked vehicles. She told police roads were “crazy icy,” though an investigator noted police did not respond to any other accident the night of the crash.
At first, Hansen was issued a summons in the crash before admitting that Armstrong was behind the wheel. Hansen has not been charged in the incident.
Armstrong declined immediate comment to The Associated Press and his attorney, Pamela Mackey, didn’t immediately return a call from the AP. Armstrong faces possibly jail time and fines if he is convicted.
The Aspen Daily News first reported Armstrong’s citations.
Armstrong won the Tour de France every year from 1999 to 2005. Those titles were stripped after a report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency detailed the use of performance enhancing drugs by Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service teammates.