Published: Sun, April 22, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Lance Armstrong agrees to US$5 million settlement with United States government

Lance Armstrong agrees to US$5 million settlement with United States government

Lance Armstrong yesterday agreed to pay $5-million to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed he defrauded his sponsor, the US Postal Office, by using performance-enhancing drugs.

The case that was settled last night began as a whistleblower lawsuit, filed in 2010 by Floyd Landis, a former team-mate. The suit had contended that the disgraced, dope-tainted, dethroned multiple Tour de France champion owed $100 million to the US taxpayers for using steroids for unlawful advantage while competing for the US Postal Service-sponsored team.

Armstrong had claimed he didn't owe the Postal Service anything because the agency made far more off the sponsorship than it paid; Armstrong's lawyers introduced internal studies for the agency that calculated benefits in media exposure topping $100 million.

Landis is entitled to $1.1 million of the settlement, with Armstrong also reported to be paying the $1.65 million necessary to cover Landis' legal costs.

According to an article by CNN that year, Armstrong has a net worth of around $125 million, so he was facing a big loss of his fortune in the trial, which was due to start in Washington on May 7.

Armstrong's lead lawyer, Elliot Peters, portrayed the settlement as a win for his side.

The sportsman, who was once engaged to the singer Sheryl Crow, "won" six of his seven Tour de France titles in U.S. Postal Service colours - results that were voided in 2012 after he was banned for life from cycling by American anti-doping officials.

"I am glad to resolve this case and move forward with my life", Armstrong said in a press release.

'There is a lot to look forward to. That denial factored into the Postal Service's decision to continue sponsoring Mr. Armstrong and his team in 2000, the Justice Department said.

Landis told ESPN: "I really didn't want to relive it in a courtroom, and I don't think Lance did either, and I don't know that that would have really accomplished anything".

The United States' lawsuit against Armstrong alleged that Armstrong and his team regularly and systematically employed performance-enhancing drugs and methods PEDs, in violation of the USPS sponsorship agreements.

For years - especially after he was diagnosed with and then beat testicular cancer - Armstrong was one of the most celebrated athletes in professional cycling, winning the Tour de France seven times.

What do you think of Lance Armstrong? According to the lawsuit, the Postal Service had given the team over $30 million, nearly $13 million went to Armstrong.

However, the settlement was greeted with dismay by Betsy Andreu, the wife of former Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu. His compensation while riding totaled $32.4 million.

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