A district court judge heard motions in the federal fraud case against cyclist Lance Armstrong, and a ruling is expected soon on whether the case will proceed to trial.
The federal government sued Armstrong under the False Claims Act in 2013, saying he violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service by using performance-enhancing drugs during the period in which he won the Tour de France seven straight times. The Justice Department joined the lawsuit, which was originally filed in 2010 by Armstrong's former USPS teammate Floyd Landis.
Armstrong's attorneys want the case thrown out, blaming the government for damages suffered by the USPS because of Armstrong's doping while he was a member of the USPS cycling team.
“The undisputed evidence, developed over years of intensive discovery, establishes that the government’s damages claims cannot survive,” Armstrong’s attorney, Elliot Peters, wrote in his latest argument, according to USA Today.
The government says USPS paid $32.3 million to sponsor Armstrong's team.
The USPS also reportedly paid Armstrong $17 million and spent nearly $40 million appearing as the main title sponsor on several of Armstrong’s teams. The government wants at least triple the amount of the Postal Service’s sponsorship funds back from Armstrong, which means he could be on the hook for more than $100 million in damages if he were to lose the case.
U.S. Justice Department attorneys have called Armstrong "a doper, dealer, and liar" and someone who would do anything to achieve power and fame.
Armstrong, 44, continued to deny doping until he finally admitted to using performance enhancing drugs in a TV interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.
- Scooby Axson