10:38, April 20 233 0 abajournal.com

2018-04-20 10:38:06
Lance Armstrong to pay $5M to settle suit claiming he defrauded US Postal Service-sponsored team

Lance Armstrong has agreed to pay $5 million settle a whistleblower suit joined by the federal government that alleged he violated a cycling sponsorship agreement with the U.S. Postal Service by taking performance-enhancing drugs.

The U.S. Justice Department announced the settlement Thursday, report the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Associated Press. A press release is here.

The initial whistleblower complaint was filed by Armstrong’s onetime teammate, Floyd Landis, in 2010. Landis had admitted he used performance enhancing drugs. He will receive $1.1 million as his share of the settlement, along with $1.65 million in legal fees.

At issue was a $32.3 million contract that had included an anti-doping clause. If the case had gone to trial, damages could have been tripled.

The Justice Department had joined the suit in February 2013. The suit had alleged Armstrong falsely denied he used performance-enhancing drugs to induce the Postal Service to renew its team sponsorship in 2000 and increase sponsorship fees. According to the suit, Armstrong also lied about his use of the drugs in a 2005 arbitration hearing involving his entitlement to a bonus, and sued the Times of London, along with its source, for libel to conceal use of the drugs.

Armstrong later admitted he used the drugs and he was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins. According to AP, he has paid more than $20 million in damages and settlements in a series of lawsuits.

Elliot Peters, Armstrong’s lead lawyer, told the New York Times he had maintained “it was a bogus case because the Postal Service was never harmed.” A statement by his firm says the settlement resolves all litigation over Armstrong’s use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Related article:

ABA Journal: “The lawyer who took down Lance Armstrong is on a mission to end the culture of cheating”