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U.S. government sues Lance Armstrong over doping scandal

The lawsuit accuses Armstrong of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service by taking sponsorship money while cheating

If you thought the shame of Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal had finally blown away with the sands of time, you would be wrong.

When last we checked in with the scandal, the U.S. government was pondering joining a whistleblower lawsuit against Armstrong brought by his former teammate, Floyd Landis, after Armstrong admitted in January to doping for many years of his career. On Tuesday the government stopped pondering and filed its court documents.

The suit accuses Armstrong of defrauding the U.S. Postal Service, which paid his team $40 million in sponsorship money between 1998 and 2004, by taking its money while disobeying the rules of professional cycling by using performance-enhancing drugs.

The government is bringing the lawsuit under the False Claims Act, which means that it could recoup its money threefold.

"The United States suffered damage in that it did not receive the value of the services for which it bargained," the complaint reads.

In a statement, Lance Armstrong’s lawyer Elliot Peters disagreed. "The U.S. Postal Service benefited tremendously from its sponsorship of the cycling team,” he said. "Lance Armstrong rode his heart out for the USPS team, and gave the brand tremendous exposure during the sponsorship years."

Read more at Thomson Reuters.


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