A federal judge has ordered Lance Armstrong to give three hours of additional testimony in the U.S. government's $100 million fraud case against the cyclist.
Reopening Armstrong's deposition will give federal attorneys more time to question Armstrong about material they were not able to cover during the seven-hour pre-trial deposition on July 23. Armstrong's attorneys have protested that the additional time is harassment because the government attorneys asked Armstrong over 1,600 questions in the original deposition, including inquiries about his intimate relationships and finances.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper issued a ruling on Wednesday permitting the extra time.
“Having reviewed the July 23 deposition transcript, the Court agrees that the Government is entitled to reopen Armstrong’s deposition,” Cooper wrote. “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.”
The U.S. Postal Service sponsored Armstrong's team from 1998 to 2004. It is accusing Armstrong of violating that sponsorship by concealing PED use to continue to receive sponsorship payments that totaled more than $30 million. Armstrong's attorneys argue the USPS got its money's worth regardless of whether Armstrong took PEDs.
In 2013, Armstrong admitted to doping beginning in 1993 using the drug Synacthen.
- Erin Flynn