Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong rides the 2005 Tour de France. The disgraced cyclist allowed his girlfriend to take the blame for a car crashGetty

Lance Armstrong agreed for his girlfriend Anna Hansen to take the blame for a car crash following a party in Colorado to avoid a media storm, according to police.

The disgraced former Tour de France cyclist drove into two parked cars after a night of partying but agreed to let his longtime partner take the wrap to divert the inevitable public attention, police reports show.

Hansen told police she had been driving home from an Aspen Art Museum party on 29 December when she lost control of Armstrong's GMC Yukon.

A man who was renting one of the damaged cars told police: ''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,'" according to the reports.

The couple then left the scene before police arrived but when Hansen was later interviewed she admitted to taking the blame for Armstrong.

"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," she 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."

Armstrong, 43, faces up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300 (£198) if convicted of failure to report an accident.

He also faces charges of driving too fast for conditions and is due in court on 17 March.

Hansen was not charged with any offence.