Armstrong accused of withholding data in False Claims Act lawsuit

US government moves to preclude key witness testimony

In the latest turn of events surrounding the False Claims Act lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, the Texan is being accused of withholding two key pieces of data related to his own sponsored expert testimony from Dr. Erich Joachimsthaler, according to a report in Law360.

The US government is asking a DC federal court to preclude expert testimony from Dr. Joachimsthaler, who in his deposition noted that the US Postal Service’s brand improved through its sponsorship of the cycling team, despite the outcome of USADA’s reasoned decision. The reasoned decision pointed to Armstrong as a key player in a doping scandal within the team, and he was subsequently banned for life.

“Armstrong should not be permitted to sponsor testimony based on data he failed to produce by the Court-ordered deadline and continues to wrongfully withhold,” the government’s sanctions motion said, and which was reported in Law360.

The report details the reason for the preclusion of expert testimony highlighting two instances where Armstrong withheld key pieces of data relating to the US Postal Service brand; data related to the “energized differentiation” in a Brand Asset Valuator and a survey from the marketing firm Chadwick Martin Bailey.

Law360 reports that the data related to the “energized differentiation” is a measure of the brand’s “direction in the marketplace.” The data analysis was complete last July, however, the portions that were provided in the lawsuit indicate that the direction of the US Postal Service brand declined following USADA’s reasoned decision, which directly contradicts Armstong’s argument that the government entity benefitted from their sponsorship of the US Postal Service Cycling Team, despite the doping revelations.

The second piece of data that Armstrong has withheld, according to the report in Law360, is a survey that includes “200 responses and other information on the questionnaire length or kick-out rates.”

Such pieces of data are necessary for the government to adequately question Dr. Joachimsthaler’s testimony, the report noted.

“Despite ample opportunity to do so, Armstrong has not fully complied with this Court’s order, and the data he continues to withhold are both material to Dr. Joachimsthaler’s opinions and prejudicial to the government’s ability to perform its own independent analysis of Dr. Joachimsthaler’s methods and opinions,” the government’s sanctions motion said, and which was reported in Law 360.

“In the present case, Armstrong appears to have deliberately withheld data that contradict Dr. Joachimsthaler’s conclusions or that call the validity of his methods into question.”

The US Postal Service sponsored the team from 1996 to 2004. Following USADA’s reasoned decision, Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career and to win his seven Tours de France titles in a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis lodged the whistleblower lawsuit against him and the US government joined the case in 2013. Armstrong argues that US Postal Service new about the extent of doping in cycling but did nothing to about it because he claimed they were profiting off of the team’s success.

Armstrong has recently made two small victories in the False Claims Act lawsuit. In March, US District Judge Christopher Cooper's ruling dismissed the government’s claim that Armstrong is required to pay back sponsorship money his team received from the US Postal Service after he admitted using Performance Enhancing Drugs throughout most of his career.

In January, Cooper also dismissed the reverse false claims portion of whistleblower Floyd Landis' suit against Armstrong's former business associated Bart Knaggs and Bill Stapleton.

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