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US begins formal legal proceedings against Lance Armstrong

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Lance Armstrong. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire.

Lance Armstrong. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire.

Lance Armstrong. Picture: John Giles/PA Wire.

THE United States Justice Department has begun formal legal proceedings against Lance Armstrong that could cost the disgraced cyclist as much as €120m in damages following his admission that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France victories.

The US government has submitted its case that the cyclist defrauded the US Postal Service of sponsorship money and that he was "unjustly enriched" by taking performance-enhancing drugs in breach of his contract.

According to court documents, USPS paid €30m to be the title sponsor of Armstrong's team from 1998 to 2004 and also paid Armstrong an €13m salary.

The US government is seeking "triple damages," which means the liability to Armstrong and his co-defendants could be in excess of €120m.

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