Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- A criminal probe of Lance Armstrong’s professional cycling team by U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. in Los Angeles was closed last February without charges being filed. Armstrong still faces civil lawsuits that include doping allegations.
The following past and current legal actions in U.S. and U.K. courts involve allegations that Armstrong used illegal performance enhancing drugs during his professional cycling career while claiming he rode clean.
Ex-Teammate Landis Accuses Armstrong in Whistle-Blower Suit
Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, who has admitted to doping, filed a whistle-blower lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. in federal court in Washington. The 2010 complaint, a copy of which was posted on the website of the New York Daily News, is under seal and the U.S. Justice Department hasn’t issued a decision whether it will join the case.
Landis accuses Armstrong of violating the sponsorship agreement his team had with the U.S. Postal Service by using illegal performance enhancing drugs and blood doping to win the Tour de France. Thomas Weisel, a Silicon Valley investor who owned the team, is also a defendant in the case. The complaint couldn’t be independently obtained from the court.
The case is U.S. ex rel. Floyd Landis v. Tailwind Sports Corp., 10-00976, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
Justice Department Petitioned to Enforce Sponsor’s Subpoena
The U.S. Justice Department in 2011 filed a petition in federal court in Washington to force Armstrong to provide information to the Postal Service Office of Inspector General. The petition was unsealed in December.
According to the Justice Department’s filing, the Postal Service, which provided a total of about $40 million to Armstrong’s team, is investigating whether he and his teammates violated the sponsorship agreement by using illegal substances.
The information the Postal Service is seeking includes correspondence with Michele Ferrari, the Italian doctor who according to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency was instrumental in the team’s doping program. The investigation is separate from the criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles that ended without charges against Armstrong.
In November, the government withdrew the petition, saying in court filings that Armstrong had complied with the subpoena.
The case is U.S. v. Armstrong, 11-mc-00565, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
California Residents Suing Over ‘Fictional’ Autobiography
Two Sacramento residents filed a lawsuit seeking to represent all California buyers of Armstrong’s books “It’s not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life” and “Every Second Counts.” They claim they were duped into buying the books that turned out to be works of fiction rather than autobiography because Armstrong falsely claimed in them that he hadn’t doped.
The case is Stutzman v. Armstrong, 13-00116, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California (Sacramento).
Armstrong’s Lawsuit Against USADA Failed to Stop Loss of Titles
In 2012 Armstrong unsuccessfully sued to prevent the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency from stripping him of his titles and imposing a lifetime ban on him. A federal judge dismissed the case in August.
The case is Armstrong v. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, 1:12-cv-00606, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas (Austin).
SCA Promotions Seeks Return of Armstrong’s Prize Money
SCA Promotions Inc., which insured bonuses Armstrong received for winning the Tour de France from 2002 to 2004, was sued by Armstrong and U.S. Postal Service team owner Tailwind Sports in 2004 for failing to pay a $5 million bonus. SCA, based in Dallas, agreed in 2006 to pay the $5 million and $2.5 million in interest and legal fees.
SCA, in a letter in October, asked Armstrong to repay the $12 million he got for Tour de France wins from 2002 to 2004. The letter put Armstrong “on notice that we may seek legal sanctions and penalties against Mr. Armstrong in connection with the false testimony given by him in 2005-2006 arbitration proceeding,” Jeff Dorough, an attorney for SCA, said in the letter.
Sunday Times, David Walsh Seek Libel Settlement Repayment
The Sunday Times in the U.K. is trying to recoup $1.5 million from a libel lawsuit filed by Armstrong that it settled in 2006. Sunday Times sportswriter David Walsh co-wrote “L.A. Confidentiel,” published in French in 2003. The book included revelations by former U.S. Postal team soigneur Emma O’Reilly about doping during the Tour de France.
The case is Times Newspapers Limited & Ors v. Lance Armstrong, High Court of Justice Queens Bench Division.
To contact the reporter on this story: Edvard Pettersson in Los Angeles at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at email@example.com