Must Reads: Armstrong to challenge government; Team sponsor: I didn’t know

Lance Armstrong says he'll challenge the U.S. government in the whistleblower suit filed against him

Armstrong to challenge the U.S. government — USA Today

After hearing about the U.S. government’s plans to join the whistleblower lawsuit originally filed by ex-teammate Floyd Landis against him, Lance Armstrong will argue that the government either knew or should have known about the doping program on the U.S. Postal Service team.

USA Today cites a source close to Armstrong who says the disgraced cyclist, who confessed to using doping products in an interview broadcast on national TV last month, will claim that the lawsuit against him — which was filed in 2010 — exceeds the six-year statute of limitations. The USPS supported the team from 2001-2004, the same period of time that Landis and Armstrong were teammates on the squad.

Armstrong’s camp also plans to argue that since he was never in a contract with the USPS or the U.S. government, the issue of him making a false claim — saying he did not partake in doping — should be thrown out.

“The defendants agreed to play by the rules and not use performance enhancing drugs,” Postal Service General Counsel Mary Anne Gibbons said in a statement Friday.


Armstrong team financier denies knowledge of doping

With the net around Lance Armstrong and his associates getting wider and wider, the U.S. government has turned to longtime Armstrong money man Thomas Weisel for more answers.

Weisel’s Tailwind Sports Corp. funded the U.S. Postal Service team when Armstrong was a rider on the squad. The San Francisco Business Times reports that Weisel would not comment about being subpoenaed. But the publication was able to interview Weisel, a San Francisco businessman who is the current chairman of Stifel Financial, last fall after Tyler Hamilton’s The Secret Race was published.

“I never had one discussion with one coach or one rider about doping,” Weisel said in the story. “And to my knowledge, the guys that were running my program – (general manager) Mark Gorski and (operations director) Dan Osipow – they did not either.”

VeloNews explored Wednesday the idea of why Weisel is being left off the government’s radar, at least for the time being. But that doesn’t mean he wasn’t questioned, as the previous story says.