Lance Armstrong Wants|to See Sponsor’s Books


     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Lance Armstrong wants a former sponsor to reveal how much money it earned while backing his Tour de France team before he was barred for life for doping.
     Armstrong on Wednesday filed a motion to compel documents and testimony from Giro Sports, a Scotts Valley-based maker of helmets and bicycling gear. It is a division of Bell Sports.
     Armstrong claims the U.S. Postal Service team made more than $140 million by sponsoring his team, during which time he won six of his seven consecutive Tours de France. He was stripped of all seven titles and barred for life from Olympic sports after his sophisticated doping system was uncovered.
     Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis sued him in a qui tam False Claims Act complaint in 2010, and the federal government intervened in 2013 . Now Armstrong wants to look at the books because the government, on behalf of the Postal Service, seeks treble damages from him.
     Landis himself was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping, after one of the greatest breakaways in history.
     In his Sept. 9 motion to compel, Armstrong says the discovery request addresses a “seminal issue:” whether his sponsors benefited more from his name than they lost by paying sponsorship fees.
     “These companies made a lot of money form Lance’s endorsement, as did the Postal Service,” Armstrong’s attorney Eric Peters told Courthouse News. “That’s what this discovery is going to show.”
     In the motion to compel, Armstrong says that because Giro is a privately held company, the information he seeks cannot be obtained elsewhere. He says the documents and testimony will remain confidential.
     The government already has subpoenaed Giro for evidence on why it decided to nix its sponsorship, according to Armstrong’s motion.
     “If the government is permitted to explore why Giro terminated the sponsorship, Armstrong must be permitted to explore the benefits Giro enjoyed during the sponsorship,” the motion states.
     Armstrong expects the discovery will show Giro’s revenue “increased substantially” each year it sponsored him and his team.
     Peters said another of Armstrong’s sponsors, Trek Bicycle, has provided information on its annual revenue during the sponsorship period in a Sept. 9 deposition, which will remain confidential.
     Peters is with Keker & Van Nest of San Francisco.
     Giro’s parent company, BRG Sports, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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