A judge has ruled that Nike must hand over a number of documents relating to Lance Armstrong as part of the ongoing whistleblower case against the former cyclist. Both Armstrong and the US government issued subpoenas for information from the firm, which wants to avoid revealing trade secrets and confidential information.
According to USA Today, Both Armstrong and the federal government want to question Nike, under oath, about its previous sponsorship of Armstrong. However, the firm is keen to protect its information and asked a federal judge in Oregon to intervene.
In a declaration to court, Nike attorney Mary VanderWeele wrote: “Disclosure of this information could harm Nike’s industry reputation and its relationship with athletes, who expect Nike to maintain the private financial, performance, and related information regarding their relationships with Nike in confidence.”
However, US District Judge Marco Hernandez has now ordered Nike to hand over certain communications with Armstrong that had been requested by the government. He is yet to decide on financial information requested by Armstrong and will wait to hear further arguments from both sides’ lawyers.
Armstrong recently settled a $10 million legal action with SCA Promotions relating to bonuses he received for three of the seven editions of the Tour de France he won between 1999 and 2005.
Having initially withheld payment of bonuses as allegations began to surface that Armstrong was cheating, SCA eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with him and Tailwind Sports – the management company of the US Postal Service team – which resulted in it paying $7.5 million plus $2.5 million costs. Following Armstrong’s confession in 2013, SCA sought to have that decision reversed.