By Tim Maloney, European Editor
In a battle of duelling depositions, Lance Armstrong and his management company Luke David LLC have filed a motion for sanctions in Travis County Court against Mike Anderson. Armstrong is seeking these sanctions because he claims that Anderson has filed a groundless and frivolous counterclaim, that he called, "below the level of tabloid journalism." As plaintiff, Armstrong is seeking minimum damages of $125,000 for his legal fees, inconvenience, harassment and other reasons related to the ongoing litigation. Armstrong's Plaintiff's Motions called Anderson's counterclaim "an egregious character assassination founded upon a demonstrably false string of sensational, untrue and fabricated allegations."
When Anderson was terminated by Armstrong in November 2004, attorneys initially offered the former assistant a $10,000 severance package (three months pay) but Anderson responded with a $500,000 settlement proposal. Armstrong rejected the offer and filed his lawsuit against Anderson over allegations regarding Anderson's termination by Armstrong, who had hired him as a personal assistant several years prior and the legal battle began.
In a counterclaim filed in Travis County Court, Texas last Thursday by Hal Gillespie, Anderson's Dallas-based attorney, Armstrong's former assistant stated the cyclist, "cheated for profit with the use of banned substances" and called Armstrong's drive for six Tour titles as an "evil, oppressive and dishonest scheme that equals the greatest scandal in sports history." He also alleged finding banned substances in Armstrong's Girona, Spain medicine cabinet and that the Tour champion had avoided a WADA/USADA out-of-competition drug test.
However, Armstrong's Plaintiff's Motions say that Anderson admitted in a deposition that he actually had no direct knowledge whatsoever of Armstrong actually taking a banned substance. Anderson stated in his deposition that, "I didn't have any intention of repeating that (drug) stuff again, it was only things I had seen throughout the course of my employment. If I had seen (Armstrong) taking something I knew was wrong, that would be different. But it was only a hunch, and I left it at that. I have an opinion. I have suspicions. But beyond that, that's all I can say about it."
In Anderson's counterclaim filing, he claimed that Armstrong's landscaper Derek Russey and John "College" Korioth, a good friend of Armstrong's saw and may have aided Armstrong allegedly avoid a drug test in the summer of 2004, when US and World Anti-Doping Agencies officials went to Armstrong's ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas. However, Armstrong was not home at the time. In Armstrong's Plaintiff's Motions, both Korioth and Russey denied any knowledge of Anderson's allegations and both said that neither Anderson nor his attorneys contacted them to verify the information before their counterclaim.