Gov't to Join Suit Against Armstrong

Claim he defrauded the U.S.P.S.

lance armstrong doping united states government fraud postal service tour de france floyd landis lawsuit

    Photo: Associated Press

As if being generally despised wasn’t enough, the United States government is about to make Lance Armstrong’s life just that much more uncomfortable. The Justice Department is expected to officially announce Friday that the government is signing on to the doping lawsuit filed two years ago by Armstrong’s former cycling partner, Floyd Landis (one of several filed against him).

The government can claim that by violating the Tour de France’s ban on illegal drugs, Armstrong defrauded his team’s primary sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service, who paid at least $30 million in support.

Robert Luskin, Armstrong’s attorney, gave a statement Friday dismissing the Postal Service's claims:

"Lance and his representatives worked constructively over these last weeks with federal lawyers to resolve this case fairly, but those talks failed because we disagree about whether the Postal Service was damaged," Luskin said. "The Postal Service's own studies show that the Service benefited tremendously from its sponsorship—benefits totaling more than $100 million."

Legal experts believe Armstrong could still avoid the charges by arguing that his contract with the Postal Service did not explicitly forbid blood doping.

For more on the athlete, check out "A History of Lance Armstrong Coverage in Outside."

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