<
>

Feds reply to Lance Armstrong leaks

LOS ANGELES -- Government prosecutors have responded to complaints by attorneys for Lance Armstrong about leaks in a grand jury investigation of the cyclist without publicly revealing their response.

U.S. Attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek says prosecutors filed their response Monday under seal to avoid violating rules that require the secrecy of grand jury proceedings.

Armstrong's attorneys filed a motion in July, claiming information from the grand jury inquiry have sullied the reputation of the seven-time Tour de France winner. The filing, which was left unsealed, claimed some of the material reported by The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and others could have only come from government officials leaking the information.

A grand jury in Los Angeles has been investigating claims that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during his string of Tour victories from 1999-2005, but no charges have been filed. The cyclist and cancer survivor denies he ever doped.

Late Tuesday, Armstrong's lawyers filed a motion asking the court to order government prosecutors to re-file their response publicly, redacting or blacking out only issues directly related to the grand jury proceedings. "It is inconceivable that the entire pleading is properly filed under seal,'' the motion states.

Information from ESPN.com's Bonnie D. Ford and The Associated Press was used in this report.