John Giles/Press Association via AP Images

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong testified last month that he first used performance enhancing drugs as far back as 1993 as the U.S. government continues its federal civil fraud case against him.

By SI Wire
August 07, 2015

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong testified last month that he first used performance enhancing drugs as far back as 1993 as the U.S. government continues to seek medical records from his treatments for cancer to determine if doctors knew about his PED use.

The government also is seeking more time to question Armstrong on his dealing with PEDs, his former United States Postal Service contract and other endorsements and to ask him about several interviews and recent documentaries on the doping scandal.

The federal government sued Armstrong under the False Claims Act in 2013, saying he violated his contract with the USPS by using performance-enhancing drugs and cheating to win the Tour de France seven straight times. The Justice Department joined the lawsuit that was originally filed in 2010 by Armstrong's former USPS teammate Floyd Landis.

During seven hours of testimony, Armstrong was asked when he first used a banned substance or practice.

"Most likely 1993,” Armstrong replied, according to transcripts obtained by USA Today. “I’m not crystal clear on what I did 22 years ago, but to the best of my knowledge, that's as close as I can pinpoint it.”

“And what did you use in 1993?” government attorney Robert Chandler asked.

“Synacthen,” Armstrong said. Synacthen is known to treat ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

The government also asked Armstrong about compensation he received from speaking appearances.

At that point, the lawyers from both sides began to argue, with Armstrong’s attorney, Elliot Peters, repeatedly objecting, accusing the government of "trickery.”

“Can’t we all just get along?” Armstrong said. “I don’t know what it was. I don’t recall.”

The government also wants Armstrong's medical records from when received treatment for testicular cancer that had spread to Armstrong's brain. Witnesses say that during a 1996 stay in an Indiana hospital for treatment, Armstrong admitted to his doctor and others that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Government lawyers subpoenaed the Indiana University School of Medicine last month to provide records of Armstrong's treatments and donations he later made to the institution.

The 43-year-old Armstrong was stripped of all of his Tour de France victories and banned for life in 2012 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency issued a report detailing how Armstrong and his Postal Service teammates “ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.

The USPS says they paid Armstrong $17 million and spent nearly $40 million appearing as the main title sponsor on several of Armstrong’s teams. The government wants at least triple the amount of the Postal Service’s sponsorship funds back from Armstrong, which means he could be paying more than $100 million in damages.

- Scooby Axson

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