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Federal prosecutors subpoena documents in 2004 Lance Armstrong case

Case involved dispute between cyclist and a promotions company, and included testimony from two who say they overheard Armstrong tell doctors he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

July 27, 2010|By Diane Pucin

Tim Herman, Lance Armstrong's Texas-based attorney, said Tuesday that federal prosecutors have subpoenaed documents from a 2004 case in which a Texas-based promotions company tried to refuse making a bonus payment to the cyclist for his Tour de France win.

In that case, SCA Promotions and Armstrong went to arbitration after the company tried to withhold a $5-million performance bonus. SCA argued that published allegations of Armstrong's possible doping negated its contract with Armstrong. SCA eventually paid Armstrong both the bonus money plus attorneys' fees and interest that totaled $7.5 million.

Among those who testified in the 2004 case were former Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, Frankie Andreu, a former Armstrong teammate on the U.S. Postal Service team, and Andreu's wife, Betsy. The Andreus had testified in 2004 that they heard Armstrong tell doctors who were treating his testicular and brain cancer that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

In the SCA case, that doctor, Craig Nichols, said in an affidavit, "I would have recorded such a confession as a matter of form…. None was recorded."

The Wall Street Journal first reported the subpoena Tuesday.

Herman said he and Armstrong's Los Angeles-based attorney, Bryan Daly, are not aware of the direction of the federal investigation. It is headed by Jeff Novitzky, who also spearheaded an investigation into BALCO, the Bay-Area lab that allegedly supplied baseball star Barry Bonds with steroids.

Herman said he is uncertain why Armstrong is being investigated and said Armstrong has not received a subpoena. He also said that while documents in the SCA case were supposed to be confidential, "basically all those documents have been leaked. Basically someone could go on the Internet and find them."

The Los Angeles Times reviewed the documents in 2004 from that three-week case. The most noteworthy allegations came from Frankie and Betsy Andreu. Frankie now does cycling commentary for Versus and frequently interviewed Armstrong during the Tour de France.

Betsy Andreu testified in the documents, "They began to ask him some questions, banal questions. And all of a sudden, boom, 'Have you ever done any performance-enhancing drugs?' And he said, 'Yes.'

"And they asked, 'What were they?' And Lance said, 'EPO, growth hormone, cortisone, steroid, testosterone."

Armstrong denied making the statement.

Other former cyclists, including three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and former Armstrong teammate Tyler Hamilton, who served his own two-year doping suspension, have been contacted by federal investigators.

diane.pucin@latimes.com

twitter.com/mepucin

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