Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong hit two parked cars after a night of partying in Aspen but agreed to let his longtime girlfriend take the blame to avoid national attention, police reports show.
Aspen police cited Armstrong with failing to report an accident and speeding weeks after the December 28 accident, but only after girlfriend Anna Hansen admitted to lying for him.
She initially told police she had been driving home from an Aspen Art Museum party when she lost control of Armstrong’s GMC Yukon on the icy roads, hitting the cars. She said she drove because “Lance had a little bit to drink”, according to the reports.
A man who had been renting one of the damaged cars told a detective Hansen came running up to his house in high heels, apologising and promising to pay for the repairs.
“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.
He called 911 to report a hit-and-run. Hansen and Armstrong left the scene before police arrived.
Detectives later interviewed Hansen, who eventually told them Armstrong was driving, but they had both decided to let her take the blame.
“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,” Hansen told police. “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.”
Failure to report an accident is a misdemeanour punishable by up to 90 days’ jail and a fine of between $US150 ($A192) and $US300 ($A385). Driving too fast for conditions is punishable by a maximum $US100 ($A128) fine.
Hansen is not charged with a crime.
Armstrong declined immediate comment and his attorney Pamela Mackey didn’t immediately return a call.
Armstrong won the Tour de France every year from 1999-2005. Those titles were stripped after a massive report by the US Anti-Doping Agency detailed the use of performance-enhancing drugs by Armstrong and his US Postal Service teammates.