LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Lance Armstrong has accused a group of media giants of reporting grand jury information which had allegedly been illegally leaked.
Armstrong’s legal team filed a notice of violations in a federal court last Wednesday, targeting both the government investigators and The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and others for publishing leaked information between May 2010 until last month about a grand jury probe into whether he used performance-enhancing drugs.
The seven-time Tour de France winner is also asking a judge to order the government to discuss their media contacts, saying the leaks could only have come from someone within the government. Armstrong says the leaks have sullied his reputation.
“The leaker in this case has, from the beginning, acted with the obvious intent of legitimizing the government’s investigation of a national hero, best known for his role in the fight against cancer,” the court papers said.
“Each leak has been designed to propagate public support for this investigation by smearing Armstrong and tarnishing his reputation. The tactical nature of these leaks cannot be ignored as it strongly suggests an underlying partisanship inherent in government agents.”
Armstrong also listed Sports Illustrated and CBS’s “60 Minutes” as receiving leaked information and said he hoped he could get the journalists to reveal their sources.
U.S. federal statutes require details of grand jury probes to remain secret prior to an indictment and authorized disclosure in the run-up to or during a trial.
Armstrong’s lawyers asked the court to consider holding secret hearings to question the U.S. agents.
He also wants the court to consider accessing telephone records and emails of contacts between journalists and government workers with access to grand jury information.