World

Lance Armstrong to testify: Did he have affair with witness?

Lance Armstrong will have to answer questions about whether he had more than just a platonic relationship with former business associate Stephanie Mcllvain, a federal judge has ruled.

This is because their relationship is relevant to the law suit the disgraced cycling champion is facing relating to him taking drugs to enhance performance.

The former professional road racing cyclist and Ms Mcllvain were married to other people around the same time, in 1998.

Daily Mail and USA Today reported that Armstrong's lawyers were unsuccessful in their attempts to clamp down on having Armstrong's personal life being probed in court with a protective order.

This issue had been brought up at a deposition on June 9 as Ms Mcllvain is a former representative for sunglasses company Oakley, one of Armstrong's former sponsors.

The judge said: "The court will permit the government and (former cyclist Floyd Landis) to engage in limited questioning of Armstrong regarding the subject matter… but only to confirm or clarify previous deposition testimony in this case.

 "No further questioning — of Armstrong or other witnesses — about this subject matter is permitted without prior authorisation by the court."

The outcome of this line of questioning will be used to further the government's USD$100 million ($136 million) civil fraud suit that has been filed against Armstrong.

Ms Mcllvain had been a key witness in the doping scandal when she and Armstrong's other friends were with Armstrong in a hospital when he was undergoing cancer treatment in 1996.

Then, Armstrong's other friends had testified that they heard Armstrong telling the doctor that he had taken various performance-enhancing drugs.

Ms Mcllvain denied that she had heard such an admission.

Which is why her relationship with Armstrong is now an issue - to see if she had motive to lie on his behalf.

In 2005, Armstrong had taken sports insurance company SCA Promotions to court for refusing to pay him a promised bonus for his Tour de France win after suspecting he had taken drugs.

Armstrong eventually won his case and collected US$7.5million from the company, thanks in large part to testimony from Ms McIlvain supporting his claim that he had not used drugs. 

Armstrong had finally admitted to doping two years ago after the US Anti-Doping Agency compiled evidence and used it against him in 2012.

Source: Daily Mail and USA Today

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