US court forces Lance Armstrong to give three more hours of testimony in whistleblower lawsuit

Landis granted two hours to question Armstrong in pre-trial deposition

US District Judge Christopher Cooper has ruled that Lance Armstrong will provide three more hours of testimony under oath in order to go examine relevant information about doping in the on-going whistleblower lawsuit, according to a report in USA Today. In addition, Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis will be granted two hours to question the disgraced former Tour de France winner in a pre-trial deposition.

Armstrong previously gave seven hours of deposition on July 23 and his lawyers tried to stop the government’s request for additional time saying that the Texan had already answered 1,600 questions in the initial deposition. However, in a statement from Cooper, which was posted on USA Today, he said, “Having reviewed the July 23 deposition transcript, the Court agrees that the Government is entitled to reopen Armstrong’s deposition.

“The Government has identified several lines of inquiry that it was not able to fully explore in the first seven hours, most notably Armstrong’s own prior statements addressing allegations that he had used PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs). These statements — many of them unequivocal denials — are relevant to the Government’s theory that Armstrong concealed his drug use from (the U.S. Postal Service). The Government is entitled to explore whether Armstrong will seek to disavow or qualify those earlier assertions at trial."

At the beginning of August, the US government had also subpoenaed the Indiana University School of Medicine to provide Lance Armstrong’s medical records from the time of his treatment for cancer in 1996, to find out if his doctors knew that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. The government also issued subpoenas for testimony from Armstrong's former sponsors Nike Inc., Trek Bicycle Corp., Giro Sport Design and Discovery Communications Inc.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Armstrong's former teammate Floyd Landis. The US Justice Department joined the case in 2013 in an effort to recover sponsorship funding paid by the US Postal Service to the team between 1996 and 2004. The case could see Armstrong lose US$100 million, and a third of those damages could go the whistleblower, Landis. Armstrong has said he fears financial ruin because of this lawsuit.

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