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LE GRAND BORNAND, FRANCE - JULY 22: Lance Armstrong of the USA and riding for US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor celebrates as he wins stage 17 of the Tour de France on July 22, 2004 from Bourg d'Oisans to le Grand Bornand, France. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong Agrees To Pay $5 Million To Settle $100 Million Federal Fraud Lawsuit

Lance Armstrong has settled a $100 million lawsuit with the U.S. Government by agreeing to pay $5 million after claims surfaced that he had committed federal fraud by taking performance-enhancing drugs, it was announced Thursday.

Lance Armstrong Reaches $5 million settlement with Government

The 46-year-old former cyclist has been accused of using PEDs while the U.S. Postal Service was reportedly sponsoring his team. Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, confessed to taking illegal drugs in 2013 after years of denying having cheated. During his first six Tour de France wins (all of which came consecutively) from 1999 to 2005, he wore a Postal Service shirt. Then in 2012, he had his Tour titles taken away from him following a probe from the U.S. Ant-Doping Agency that concluded he and his cycling teammates had been using banned substances.

Armstrong’s top attorney, Elliot Peters, said in a phone interview with the New York Times that this case is a “bogus case” and that the Postal Service was not hurt in any way.

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According to The Guardian, a trial is set to begin May 7 in Washington. CBS News reported Friday that the Justice Department is also involved in Armstrong’s case. The Department accused the cyclist, his team manager Johan Bruyneel and team owner Tailwind Sports of having “illegitimately procured” large sums of money from the Postal Service.

“Lance Armstrong and his cycling team took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service based on their contractual promise to play fair and abide by the rules — including the rules against doping,” Ronald Machen Jr., U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Robert Luskin — one of Armstrong’s lawyers — claimed the Postal Service had benefited from the sponsorship by more than $100 million, and noted several studies from the service.

Several reports also said that Floyd Landis, one of Armstrong’s former teammates, was a plaintiff in the case when it was first filed in 2010. Landis reportedly served as a whistle-blower who could have also obtained money recovered by the U.S. Government.

The federal government decided to become involved in Armstrong’s case after he admitted to using illegal substances in 2013. The Postal Service, for its part, said it would never have sponsored the cyclist’s team had they known any members of it had been doping.

Per the Times, Armstrong is set to receive $1.1 million of the federal government’s $5 million.

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Armstrong was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer — which eventually metastasized — at age 25 in 1996. He retired from racing after the 2005 Tour de France and returned to the sport four years later. Armstrong retired again in 2011 after racing with Team Radio Shack, which he co-founded.

 

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Written by Pablo Mena