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Armstrong adds communications strategist to defence team

By:
Cycling News
Published:
August 20, 2010, 15:04 BST,
Updated:
August 20, 2010, 16:11 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 20, 2010
Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) in his final Tour

Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) in his final Tour

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Spin doctor Mark Fabiani hired to fight leaks in doping investigation

Lance Armstrong has reportedly boosted his defence team as the Federal investigation into alleged doping accusations at the US Postal Service team continues. According to reports on ESPN.com, veteran legal and media strategist Mark Fabiani has been advising Armstrong and his lawyers since July.

The Los Angeles Attorney's office is investigating allegations by former teammate Floyd Landis that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his career and specifically when he was team leader at the US Postal Service team.

Jeff Novitzky, an agent with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) who was part of the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative (BALCO) investigation into doping in sports including baseball and track and field, is the lead investigator. Armstrong has denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs and has never failed an anti-doping test during his long career.

The 53-year-old Fabiani is a former White House special counsel who specialises in helping steer troubled politicians, companies and organizations in moments of crisis. He represented former US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton during the Whitewater scandal, with Newsweek magazine going on to call him the ‘Master of Disaster' for his ability to defend his clients in the most difficult moments.

Fabiani served as deputy campaign manager for Al Gore during the 2000 presidential election and more recently worked with the Goldman Sachs investment bank as they faced a grilling by congressional committees about their part in the sub-prime loan crisis.

In an e-mail to ESPN.com journalist Bonnie Ford, Fabiani said: "We're prepared to deal forthrightly with the improper and misleading leaks that so far have unfortunately characterized this unfair, Floyd Landis-inspired inquiry."

He then repeated a claim already made by Lance Armstrong, calling into question if it is right to spend taxpayers' money on the investigation: "With salmonella causing the recall of 380 million eggs, I'm probably not the only one wondering right now why the FDA is spending its resources looking into international bicycle races that occurred years ago," Fabiani said in an e-mail to Bloomberg.

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