Armstrong Qui Tam case: subpoena seeks to determine truth about alleged hospital confession
For Betsy Andreu, the wife of former US Postal Service rider Frankie Andreu, the biggest issue left in her long-standing dispute with Lance Armstrong is the question of whether or not he admitted doping to doctors treating him in 1996 for testicular cancer.
Both Andreus stated under oath years ago that the Texan had told doctors that he had used a range of substances prior to getting the disease. It’s an admission that Armstrong has always strongly denied, dismissing the Andreus as liars.
Even after he admitted to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013 that he had indeed used banned products for much of his career, Armstrong refused to back up their version of events.
Now the US government is seeking to determine the truth about the matter. According to AP, court records show that on July 30 lawyers subpoenaed the Indiana University School of Medicine, seeking to compel it to provide records of Armstrong’s treatments plus donations he later made to the school.
The tactic is part of a major court battle between the federal government and former US Postal rider Floyd Landis on one side and Lance Armstrong on the other.
The latter is fighting their claims that he and others committed clear fraud in using banned substances to win multiple Tours at a time they were sponsored by the US Postal Service.
If he is found guilty, penalties in the Qui Tam case could be close to $100 million.
However Armstrong’s lawyers are fighting the request, describing it as an invasion of privacy. They have asked the judge to block the release of the information.
They contend it is irrelevant as Armstrong has already admitted doping.
The Texan has long been suspected of trying to protect medical experts. During his successful seven-Tour winning streak, some of his doctors defended him against claims of doping. They denied suggestions that he had admitted the use of substances such as EPO to them.
Armstrong’s foundation made a substantial donation two days after the Andreus testified about the alleged hospital admission.
Their videotaped testimony was carried out on October 25 2005; on October 27, the Lance Armstrong Foundation announced it was making a $1.5 million endowment to the Indiana University.
If the federal government’s subpoena is successful, the truth may finally be known about what Armstrong did or didn’t say in that hospital room.