A federal lawsuit against former cyclist Lance Armstrong will proceed to trial after a judge refused to throw out the U.S. government's $100 million lawsuit against him.
The lawsuit was filed by Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis. In 2013, the feds joined the lawsuit and sued Armstrong under the False Claims Act, saying he violated his contract with the USPS by using performance-enhancing drugs.
During a television interview, Armstrong finally admitted to doping from years in route to seven straight Tour de France victories from 1999-2005.
Armstrong, 45, was stripped of all of his Tour de France victories and banned for life in 2012 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency issued a report detailing how Armstrong and his Postal Service teammates “ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”
"Giving Armstrong `credit' for the benefits he delivered while using (performance-enhancing drugs) could be viewed as an unjust reward for having successfully concealed his doping for so long,'' U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper wrote in his ruling. "(But) disregarding any benefits USPS received from the sponsorship could bestow the government with an undeserved windfall. The same could be said of Landis, whose role in this entire affair some would view as less than pure."
The USPS says they paid Armstrong $17 million and spent nearly $33 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 paying more than $100 million in damages.
- Scooby Axson