A district court judge has denied Lance Armstrong’s request for a delay in the US government's False Claims Act suit against him and former US Postal Service team owners Tailwind Sports, setting the trial date for November 6 in Washington, D.C.
The government alleges that Armstrong defrauded the USPS by "actively concealing the team's violations of the agreements' anti-doping provisions" under its sponsorship contract.
The case was cleared for a jury trial last week after US District Court Judge Christopher R. Cooper denied an attempt by Armstrong’s legal team to negate any damage caused to the USPS.
In their latest motion, Armstrong’s legal team asked the judge to delay the trial until 2018 because attorney John W. Keker, one of the lead counsels on the case, will be busy with a massive multi-count mail fraud case starting in May. Cooper denied the motion, setting the November date with a pre-trial conference in October.
The case was brought in 2010 by Armstrong's former teammate, Floyd Landis. Armstrong was banned by USADA for life for doping and conspiracy charges in 2012, and he confessed to doping on the Oprah Winfrey television show the next year. After his public confession, the Federal government joined the case, which is now moving toward trial.
In last week’s decision to move forward, the court granted the government's motion to set the amount in question at $32,267,279, the total of the payment invoices that team owners Tailwind Sports submitted to USPS. A jury could decide Armstrong and Tailwind should pay damages as much as three times that amount, or $96,801,837.
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