Sports

Lance Armstrong pleads guilty to reckless driving

Lance Armstrong pleads guilty to reckless driving after hitting two parked cars in Aspen, Colo.

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has pleaded guilty to reckless driving for hitting two parked cars in Aspen, Colo., in December.

Armstrong, who reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, submitted his plea via mail on Friday, according to the Associated Press. Armstrong has paid $238.50 to cover court fees and a $150 fine, court records show, and the case has been closed.

According to a report in the Aspen Daily News, Anna Hansen, Armstrong's girlfriend, initially told an Aspen homeowner on the evening of Dec. 28 that she was the one driving the sport utility vehicle that hit two rental vehicles in front of his house.

Aspen police said Hansen left after leaving her contact information with the homeowner without realizing she needed to report the incident to police. Police identified the SUV in the driveway of the home Hansen shares with Armstrong after the homeowner reported the incident the next day. Hansen was cited for failing to report an accident and exceeding safe speed for conditions.

In his police report, Det. Rick Magnuson said he was suspicious of Hansen's story and spoke to an employee of the valet company that worked an event at the St. Regis Aspen Resort attended by the couple before the accident. That employee told Magnuson that he saw Armstrong get into the driver's side of the SUV.

Magnuson said in his report that he interviewed Hansen two more times before she confessed on Dec. 31 that she was not driving at the time of the accident. The detective wrote that he asked Hansen if Armstrong asked her to take the blame.

“She replied, ‘No, that was a joint decision,' " Magnuson wrote, "'and, um, you know 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.’”

Citations initially issued to Hansen were later transferred to Armstrong.

News of Armstrong's plea comes days after he was ordered to pay $10 million to a promotions company as part of its fraud lawsuit against the former seven-time Tour de France winner.

Armstrong was stripped of his titles and given a lifetime ban from competitive cycling in 2012 after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career. He admitted to using drugs during a 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Times staff writer Chuck Schilken contributed to this report.

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