Lawyers attack federal government over supposed leaks
With a federal whistleblower lawsuit still hanging over their client, the attorneys of Lance Armstrong have trotted out previously-used claims that FDA investigator Jeff Novitzky leaked sensitive information about a now-closed federal fraud case to the media in an attempt to sway a judge in their clients' favour.
Armstrong is facing a potentially $100 million Qui Tam suit brought by Floyd Landis on the basis that the doping to which Armstrong has admitted amounted to fraud against the team's US Postal Service sponsor, an agency which is partially funded by the US government.
Armstrong's attorneys previously accused Novitzky of leaking information during a federal investigation which was summarily closed by the US attorney in early 2012. The US Anti-Doping Agency took up the case from there, assembling its own dossier of evidence based on witness testimony.
"It is clear from recently published journalistic works that both (Floyd Landis) and USADA have widely disseminated information pertaining to this case that they may possess," Peters wrote, according to USA Today. "We believe that Agent Novitzky has done so covertly for some time. We do not know what information you and your colleagues have disseminated."
Armstrong's lawyers are attempting to have the Qui Tam suit dismissed, but barring that, they hope to limit the number of times he will be forced to be deposed under oath. He is facing four separate cases based upon his doping admission, and wants to consolidate the testimony into one appearance.
The team also want the information which the government has assembled against him up front to better prepare for the deposition.
"The other attorneys are likely well-prepared and essentially planning to ambush him at deposition based on investigative materials that he is unaware of," Peters wrote. "We seek to avoid such an unfair procedure and we hope the (Department of Justice) would too."
They are seeking access to information the government gathered for its case, including any wiretaps or communications with USADA, Landis and the media.
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