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by Shane Stokes
April 21, 2018
Pinot, Padun triumph at Tour of the Alps; Tonelli lands first pro win on stage 4 of Tour of Croatia; Case closed: Lance Armstrong settles federal lawsuit for $5M; Future great? Haig impressing in spring Classics as Giro debut beckons; POC and MIPS reach settlement over helmet safety technology; Video: Alaphilippe learns he won Flèche Wallonne; Video: Phil Gaimon’s Disc Breaks – Rock Store Take 2!; Video: One wheel on the Poggio
Lance Armstrong will pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit with the U.S. Department of Justice claiming that he defrauded the federal government by using performance-enhancing drugs as a member of the United States Postal Service cycling team, the New York Times reported Thursday.
The settlement ends years of legal disputes between Armstrong and the U.S. government over whether the U.S. Postal Service — an independent agency of the United States federal government — had been damaged by Armstrong’s doping, which he confessed to in January 2013, five months after he’d received a lifetime ban and been stripped of his Tour de France titles by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.
The case began in 2010 as a Qui Tam lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act by Floyd Landis, Armstrong’s former teammate. Landis’ lawsuit alleged that the team’s doping constituted defrauding the federal government. Armstrong was not only the leader of the team but also had ownership stake. Armstrong’s business partners Bill Stapleton and Bart Knaggs settled with the U.S. government for $158,000 in 2017 after being named in the same suit.
The government joined the lawsuit after Armstrong’s confession in 2013, with the Postal Service claiming it would not have sponsored the team if it had known Armstrong was doping. Armstrong’s defense stated that the Postal Service had to have known about the doping, and that it benefitted far beyond its $32 million sponsorship.
The settlement averted a trial scheduled to begin with jury selection on May 7 in Federal District Court in Washington D.C. “We’ve had exactly the same view of this case forever, which was that it was a bogus case because the Postal Service was never harmed,” Elliot Peters, Armstrong’s lead lawyer, told the New York Times.
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