USA government seeks $100m from Armstrong

Lance Armstrong

A United States government lawsuit seeking $100m (£80m) in damages from Lance Armstrong has been given the go-ahead.

He added, however: "This issue presents a closer question".

According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by LawNewz, Armstrong's team received $32,267,279 in compensation from the USPS over the course of a lengthy sponsorship deal.

Armstrong has tried to have the case dropped, claiming that the sponsorship benefited the Postal Service and was worth more to USPS than the $32m it paid to his now disbanded team, Tailwind Sports Corporation. Armstrong was stripped of those titles and banned from competition.

Armstrong won seven editions of the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005, but later admitted to doping and had the wins stripped and was banned from cycling for life in 2012.

In 2013, Armstrong confessed to knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Justice Department in a civil lawsuit is alleging Armstrong defrauded the government by accepting sponsorship money from the U.S. Postal Service while taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Lance Armstrong faces the prospect of "financial ruin" after he failed to block a $100m (£80m) lawsuit brought by the USA government against him and his former team. But the swift dumping of him by others around that time showed his endorsement had no value, the government argued.

The law allows Landis and the government to sue to get that money back and for "treble" damages, or triple the amount, and Armstrong could be forced to pay all of it.

Armstrong has steadfastly refused to settle the lawsuit, saying in December 2015 that he "is not in a position to cut any more checks" after settling two lawsuits over his Tour victory bonuses.

The Postal Service had previously paid the team about $10 million in a five-year sponsorship starting in 1995. "We believe they made hundreds of millions of dollars and we know they were using the team as a sales vehicle during the Tour, bringing over potential clients". Armstrong got almost $13.5 million.

"There is no actual evidence of any quantifiable financial harm", to the Postal Service, Peters said.

On Monday, a federal judge opened the door for a government lawsuit to peddle its way to trial.

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