Lance Armstrong allowed to use "everyone was doping" in lawsuit defence
Lance Armstrong will be allowed use the premise that "widespread doping existed" in cycling in his era, during his $100 million lawsuit with the US federal government
The case against Armstrong and the Tailwind Sports management company that owned the US Postal team, is they defrauded the government by using performance-enhancing drugs.
At a hearing on Tuesday to determine what could be accepted as evidence, Armstrong's lawyer's convinced the judge that allowing the defence to say that “everyone was doing it” was partly admittable.
The prosecution argued that “put the entire sport of cycling on trial”, and could mislead the jury.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper agreed with Armstrong's lawyers, allowing them to present evidence of widespread doping in professional cycling as part of his defence
“The endemic nature of performance-enhancing drug] use in cycling creates a possible inference that the Government was aware of the widespread use of PEDs,” Cooper wrote in his ruling. “That would similarly raise a possible inference that the USPS did not particularly care about any PED use by Armstrong — again, yielding an inference that PED use was not material to the Government’s funding decisions.”
Armstrong’s legal team are likely to argue that the issue of doping didn’t play a part in the US Postal Service’s decision to sponsor the team.
The judge also said that this evidence should not be regarded as relevant to Armstrong or the team’s decision to use performance-enhancing drugs or submit false claims to the US government.
Greg LeMond and Betsy Andreu, who the government says will offer first-hand accounts of Armstrong’s doping, will both be able to testify in the case.
Armstrong lawyer's had sought to prevent them testifying, arguing that they had no relevant information to offer and had been vocal critics in the past.
The case had been scheduled to go before a jury in May 2018.