Saturday 31 January 2015

US government sues Armstrong for $100m

Published 23/02/2013 | 04:00

The story of Lance Armstrong's fall from grace is set for the silver screen (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

The United States government has confirmed that it has joined a civil lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, left, to claim around $100m (€75.96m) from the disgraced cyclist.

The US Department of Justice took the opportunity to join a whistle-blowing lawsuit filed by Armstrong's former teammate, Floyd Landis, who alleges the Texan defrauded the US government when it sponsored the United States Postal Service team.

The lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act and provides for the recovery of three times the damages, plus penalties, and also includes the possibility of the whistle-blower sharing in any funds recovered.

The USPS sponsorship was from 1999 to 2004, with $31m (€23.55m) paid between 2001 and 2004 alone, the Department of Justice said.

After years of denials, Armstrong last month in a television interview with chat show queen Oprah admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in each of his seven Tour de France wins.

Talks between Armstrong, his representatives and the Department of Justice broke down ahead of the US government joining the lawsuit.

In a statement Robert Luskin, counsel to Armstrong, said: ". . . those talks failed because we disagree about whether the Postal Service was damaged."

The formal complaint will be filed within 60 days.

Irish Independent

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