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Lance Armstrong requests delay in fraud trial

Lance Armstrong requested on Thursday to delay the trial that will decide the $100 million fraud suit brought against him by Floyd Landis and the U.S. government. The trial was scheduled to begin on November 7, but Armstrong is seeking to move it to 2018.

Armstrong applied to the federal court in Washington, where the case will be heard, stating that there is a scheduling conflict for one of his lawyers, John Keker.

“I understand that a conflict has arisen that would preclude Mr. Keker from participating in my trial if it goes forward as currently set on November 7,” Armstrong stated.

The court has not yet responded, but the plaintiffs in the case, the U.S. Government and Landis, filed a statement stating that they do not oppose Armstrong’s request. The plaintiffs requested that should the trial be moved, it should be rescheduled for the “earliest practicable time,” further requesting that it not be rescheduled for January, 2018 because the Civil Division, Fraud Section of the Department of Justice is currently scheduled to move offices that month.

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking nearly $100 million in damages from Armstrong, alleging that he defrauded the federal government when he doped while sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service. Armstrong’s legal team has argued that USPS suffered no damages as a result of Armstrong’s doping because, despite doping controversies, the USPS received greater benefit from its association with the team and Armstrong than the $32 million it paid.

The suit was originally filed by Landis, a former teammate of Armstrong’s, in 2010. The government later joined the suit.

In his request, Armstrong made it clear that he deems it important to be represented by Keker, who has been his lawyer since 2011.

“Mr. Keker has been closely involved in all aspects of my representation since 2011,” Armstrong states. “Without revealing the contents of our communications, I can confirm I have regularly spoken with him regarding the case, that I rely on him, and that I hope he will be personally involved in the trial.

“Plaintiffs’ allegations are serious and I want the counsel of my choice representing me at trial,” Armstrong stated.

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