Texas judge orders Lance Armstrong to answer questions about doping

Who knew what and when, insurance company wants to know

by John Stevenson   September 4, 2013  

Lance Armstrong (pic courtesy Photosport International)

In yet another twist to Lance Armstrong’s on-going legal saga, a Texas judge has ordered the disgraced former pro cyclist to answer questions under oath about his doping.

The answers could prove explosive. Acceptance Insurance Holding is suing Armstrong in relation to bonuses it paid him from 1999 to 2001. The company wants to know when Armstrong’s associates and cycling officials including International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid knew of his doping.

Travis County District Judge Tim Sulak last week ordered Armstrong to provide documents and written answers to a series of questions by the end of September, according to the Associated Press. The case has been set for trial in April 2014.

Pat McQuaid is standing for re-election as UCI president on September 27.

Acceptance insured Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service team against the risk of paying win bonuses for the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours de France. It is seeking to recover $3 million from Armstrong after he was stripped of those victories.

The company alleges that Armstrong was at the centre of a longstanding conspiracy within his teams to cheat by the use of performance-enhancing drugs, and to cover up his cheating.

Armstrong’s lawyers opposed Acceptance’s demands for answers, saying that the company was indulging in “harassing, malicious ... fishing expedition” intended to “make a spectacle of Armstrong’s doping.” They pointed out that Armstrong has already admitted cheating.

That admission came after years of denials when the United States Anti-Doping Agency found Armstrong guilty of running “a massive doping conspiracy.”

“Armstrong’s career on USPS/Discovery Channel… was fuelled from start to finish by doping,” USADA said.

Armstrong subsequently appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and admitted doping, but declined to implicate others.

Lawyers for Acceptance want to know what his legal advisors and then-wife Kristin Armstrong knew about his doping practices. Armstrong’s lawyers argue that such questions are covered by spouse or attorney-client privilege, but Acceptance says those protections are not valid if the parties were aware fraud was being committed.

Witness statements in the USADA’s report from at least three of Armstrong’s former team-mates mention Kristin Armstrong’s involvement in, or at least knowledge of, doping on his teams.

More lawsuits

Armstrong is currently fighting several lawsuits involving his career as a professional cyclist. The US Justice Department is part of former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis’ whistle-blower lawsuit against Armstrong. Under the United States’ False Claims Act, whistle-blowers can share with the government in any recovery of money based upon their disclosures..

Armstrong is also being sued by SCA Promotions, which guaranteed his later Tour de France bonuses. He recently settled for an undisclosed sum with the Sunday Times. The paper settled a libel case out of court with Armstrong in 2006.

Armstrong’s total liability if all the suits find against him is estimated at $135 million dollars. His personal net worth is estimated at $125 million.

18 user comments

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Poor Lance Rolling On The Floor Hopefully he will be left with a pot to p*ss in. The picture of him calm and relaxed in front of his seven jerseys springs to mind.....

posted by SideBurn [777 posts]
4th September 2013 - 15:16

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This will be tremendously entertaining if it exposes Pat McQuaid as being complicit in all of this.

Can just imagine Pat running round his offices trying to bury everything and thinking "shit I need another 4 years to clear this lot up!" Wink

The Lance saga I don't mind one way or the other - to be honest all Lance is guilty of is running a doping conspiracy that was better than everybody else's...

posted by crazy-legs [504 posts]
4th September 2013 - 15:29

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I'm unsure how to feel behind the Lance saga now. On one hand, he is a cheat and a fraud and on the other he's a good family man and does a lot for charity.

More than anything though, I feel sorry for his kids. Lance has asked for all this himself by cheating in the first place, but his kids will no doubt be taking a hit from all this as well...

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posted by ilderracer [13 posts]
4th September 2013 - 15:35

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crazy-legs wrote:
This will be tremendously entertaining if it exposes Pat McQuaid as being complicit in all of this.

Can just imagine Pat running round his offices trying to bury everything and thinking "shit I need another 4 years to clear this lot up!" Wink

The Lance saga I don't mind one way or the other - to be honest all Lance is guilty of is running a doping conspiracy that was better than everybody else's...

You would think at some point McQuaid would throw his hands up and walk away just like his predecessor. Why make a spectacle of yourself trying to cover up that your complacency when everyone knows it existed.

posted by jarredscycling [436 posts]
4th September 2013 - 15:55

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ilderracer wrote:
I'm unsure how to feel behind the Lance saga now. On one hand, he is a cheat and a fraud and on the other he's a good family man and does a lot for charity.

More than anything though, I feel sorry for his kids. Lance has asked for all this himself by cheating in the first place, but his kids will no doubt be taking a hit from all this as well...


Quite.

Also the idea that Landis is set to personally profit from exposing Lance is a little disturbing.

I'm sure Lance has a tell-all "auto"biography planned though to get a few bob back.

posted by SteppenHerring [175 posts]
4th September 2013 - 15:57

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Lance contributed £250,000 to the UCI to improve drug testing. He was also credited with backing a new test for EPO, before it was detectable. It is very easy to be cynical about these facts.... but.....
What if he wanted to ride clean against other clean riders?
But just made the decision that if the peloton was doped then he would be the best of the dopers...
Until the testers caught up?
Except that they didn't/couldn't because of a lack of funds?
I cannot understand why Pat McQuaid wants to hang around when it seems he was at the top of a pile of s**t for so long..
SideBurn heads for the fallout shelter Wave

posted by SideBurn [777 posts]
4th September 2013 - 16:06

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SideBurn wrote:
Lance contributed £250,000 to the UCI to improve drug testing. He was also credited with backing a new test for EPO, before it was detectable. It is very easy to be cynical about these facts.... but.....
What if he wanted to ride clean against other clean riders?
But just made the decision that if the peloton was doped then he would be the best of the dopers...
Until the testers caught up?
Except that they didn't/couldn't because of a lack of funds?
I cannot understand why Pat McQuaid wants to hang around when it seems he was at the top of a pile of s**t for so long..
SideBurn heads for the fallout shelter Wave

That's quite a re-reading of history there. He donated £250,000 which was made to the UCI 'for the purposes of buying a centrifuge for blood testing'. Something which is actually disputed and a convenient cover story for him getting into the UCI anti-doping laboratory.

He didn't 'back' any new test for EPO. He may have claimed that he thought it was a good thing, but then his 'schtick' has always been that he was clean, so claiming anything else would have given rise to doubt.

The test was created and accredited by scientists irrespective of Armstrong and adopted by the UCI and WADA, irrespective of Armstrong. The only thing Armstrong tried to do was find out how they processed the bloods - the assumption is so that he and Ferrari could be sure that their doping got round the test, not in any effort to reduce doping in cycling.....

In terms of the 'I only doped because everyone else did' is the same excuse as Ben Johnson, and David Miller, it's pretty much the same excuse as every known doper. That's how they justify it.

Not to be too hard on you Sideburn, I wish that you would read a bit deeper on this. If you haven't already, check out 'The Secret Race', or 'Seven Deadly Sins'. They are both excellent reads.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1112 posts]
4th September 2013 - 16:35

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Just to be clear I think we are both in agreement here Colin; the man is a c**t pure and simple.
For me Lance has become something he was not (for me) as a rider... interesting! What was going on in his head? Other than dope...
We should have a new forum for great Lance quotes like, "Willy Voet is completely full of shit" and best of all,
"But there were also riders who had some stuff found on them. We don't need to name names, because we know them all. For these people, there are no apologies. It is pure stupidity, they are total idiots and they should be excluded from the sport! Some say for two years, others for life. I don't know what would be fair." (2001)
http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/results/2001/jun01/jun20news.php

"Dutch TV 2 aired a program on Lance Armstrong on Thursday evening hosted by Mart Smeets, who interviewed Hein Verbruggen, who confirmed that Armstrong sponsors UCI anti-doping investigations. One of the last things he did was to pay for the UCI's new Sysmex blood testing machine, which measures the proportion of haemoglobin and reticulocytes in a rider's blood to determine whether they have been artificially manipulating their red cells.

"I know Lance didn't want me to talk about this, but now he his career is coming to an end I said to him that I should make it public," said Verbruggen. "He didn't like that, but I think everybody has to know it." "This initiative deserves nothing but praise and respect." From the head of the UCI in 2005

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/armstrong-puts-extra-money-into-anti-doping

posted by SideBurn [777 posts]
4th September 2013 - 16:59

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It seems the more I dig the more I find Plain Face

posted by SideBurn [777 posts]
4th September 2013 - 17:01

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SideBurn wrote:
Just to be clear I think we are both in agreement here Colin; the man is a c**t pure and simple.

Cool.

The problem with Armstrong seems to go very deep. Both Hamilton and Walsh have commented as such. Both myself and my girlfriend are of the opinion that he needs therapy. It probably stems from abandonment issues surrounding his dad leaving, but also a waspish mother tiger of a mum probably using the projecting onto her son following the break up of her marriage (but I'm no psychotherapist).

Whatever it is he will find it hard to find happiness and move on until he deals with some of that. Otherwise I think he will probably continue to bully and cheat people in a psychopathic way - I think that's what did for him. In fact I think that because of the rampant doping of the peloton most people would have been happy not to upset the apple cart if he had not of been so dominant in such a domineering and nasty way.

Armstrong bugged me from the very beginning of his Tour dominance - I remember Leggit going on about him when he first entered the Tour, but was very unimpressed. He went away, had cancer, recovered, and then very surprisingly and improbably won the Tour, and began to spout the rubbish about being clean. He wound me up from the very beginning with that cr@p given incredible transformation as evident in his performances. I just wondered why no one else saw it.

Interested to see where this all goes. I actually don't think it will be complete financial Armageddon for him.

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1112 posts]
4th September 2013 - 17:04

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Yep; we are in agreement Colin, I suspect this story will go on for longer than most are interested. I took him for a rat after reading 'It is not about the bike'.
The worrying thing is that many who spoke up for him are still around; Hein Verbruggen is now on the International Olympic Committee

posted by SideBurn [777 posts]
4th September 2013 - 17:19

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what's the chance of getting a rebate on the books i bought Cool if it turns out they were based on lies.

Although he did say "It's not about the bike"

posted by langsett [19 posts]
4th September 2013 - 17:38

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Scape goat - now LA has been slaughtered and taken away the sins of the Peloton, we can now believe in the new clean generation. Get real!

posted by daddyELVIS [386 posts]
4th September 2013 - 19:15

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I think the difference between Armstrong and the other dopers of that period was the way he bullied and threatened folks who wanted to break the omerta.

Whilst he is now a part of cycling's dirty period in the sport's history it would be interesting if he did finally fess up and admit who knew what. (That's assuming he does tell the truth under oath).

I suspect that if this does happen it will be after McQuaid's watch at the UCI.

Velotastic !

Too many hills, but too little time.

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posted by badback [266 posts]
4th September 2013 - 19:53

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jarredscycling wrote:
You would think at some point McQuaid would throw his hands up and walk away just like his predecessor. Why make a spectacle of yourself trying to cover up that your complacency when everyone knows it existed.

I'd agree, but Pat is obviously a similar kind of sociopath to Armstrong. He must be seriously worried about the rattling skeletons in his cupboards. Let's hope they see daylight soon.

posted by Sadly Biggins [264 posts]
5th September 2013 - 9:04

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crazy-legs wrote:
to be honest all Lance is guilty of is running a doping conspiracy that was better than everybody else's...

.....and trying to ruin anyone who spoke out againt him, fraud, bullying, making others dope......the list is long

posted by Decster [246 posts]
5th September 2013 - 9:48

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I'm with you crazy legs - Armstrong will continue to get dragged through the s**t for a while yet, but its about time McQuaid was properly on the receiving end too.

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posted by ragtimecyclist [125 posts]
5th September 2013 - 10:04

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daddyELVIS wrote:
Scape goat - now LA has been slaughtered and taken away the sins of the Peloton, we can now believe in the new clean generation. Get real!

Totally agree.

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posted by mingmong [191 posts]
5th September 2013 - 12:58

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