Lance Armstrong's lawyers want those who testified against him in his doping case to appear in court as he fights $100m whistleblower lawsuit
As part of his defence in a $95.7m (£63.2m) US Government whistleblower lawsuit, Armstrong has been sending out subpoenas to those that helped bring him down. The subpoenas demand testimonies, documents and sworn statements that were used against Armstrong in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) cases.
Former team-mate Frankie Andreu received one and others are reportedly next.
“This shows that Armstrong will stop at nothing to continue the Armstrong lie,” Andreu’s wife, Betsy Andreu told the New York Daily News.
“This is nothing more than payback. It’s to be burdensome and to hassle us. But you know what, in the end, it’s just stupid.”
According to the article, Armstrong’s lawyers are trying to determine how the FDA’s Jeff Novitzky unearthed the evidence against their client. If they can prove he obtained them illegally, they can ask that it is thrown out of the Justice Department whistleblower case.
Under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower lawsuit allows citizens to sue on the behalf of the government. Penalties can reach three-times the amount defrauded, or nearly $100m in Armstrong’s case.
The US Postal Service sponsored the Texan’s team from 1996 to 2004. Based on the USADA case files from 2012 – which saw Armstrong banned and stripped of his seven Tour titles – he and senior team members cheated the government and its tax payers.
USPS gave $31.9m to the team from 2001 to 2004, according to an ESPN article in 2012, which opens Armstrong and his co-defendants up to $95.7m (£61.2m)
Armstrong’s former right-hand man, Floyd Landis kicked off the suit. He rode with Armstrong from 2002 to 2004 and won the 2006 Tour with team Phonak. Officials stripped that win after he failed a testosterone test days later.
When Armstrong turned his back on Landis, Landis turned on his former leader. He spoke with Novitzky in the initial FDA case and filed the whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the US Government in 2010.
His co-defendants, agent Bill Stapleton and business partner Barton Knaggs, reportedly agreed in December 2014 to settle and pay the US Justice Department $500,000 and Floyd Landis’ attorney $100,000.
Armstrong continues to fight, however. He told the BBC that he “would try to make it right” to those he wronged, but his subpoenas appear as revenge.