Lance Armstrong Settles $5 Million Lawsuit With U.S. Government
Lance Armstrong has agreed to pay the United States $5 million for using performance-enhancing drugs while competing.
The cycling star used these drugs while the US Postal Service shelled out millions of dollars to sponsor is team. The Postal Service gave Armstrong $31 million in sponsorship fees between 2001 and 2004. A lawsuit was filed against Armstrong in 2013, accusing him of violating his contract with the US Postal Service and committing fraud because he told them he never used drugs while competing.
In 2013, Armstrong admitted to using banned substances while he won a record seven Tour de Frances titles from 1999 to 2005. His Tour titles were taken away in 2012 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency determined that he and some of his teammates used drugs.
“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, said in a telephone interview.
Chad Readler, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said that no one is above the law. “A competitor who intentionally uses illegal PEDs not only deceives fellow competitors and fans, but also sponsors, who help make sporting competitions possible. This settlement demonstrates that those who cheat the government will be held accountable.”
The government could have pursued $100 million damages from the cyclist, but decided to settle for a fraction of that number.
Armstrong said that he’s glad he’s been able to make amends with the Postal Service.
“While I believe that their lawsuit against me was meritless and unfair, and while I am spending a lot of money to resolve it, I have since 2013 tried to take full responsibility for my mistakes and inappropriate conduct, and make amends wherever possible,” he said. “I rode my heart out for the Postal cycling team, and was always especially proud to wear the red, white and blue eagle on my chest when competing in the Tour de France. Those memories are very real and mean a lot to me.”
Although Armstrong had to pay the government a lot of money, he is still believed to be worth millions based on his investment portfolio and four homes. He also owns an event company, two bicycle shops and hosts a regular podcast.
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