Lance Armstrong has settled allegations by the federal government that he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service when they cheated by taking performance enhancing drugs while riding under the U.S.P.S. banner. Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal Service teammate, Floyd Landis, sued Armstrong under the federal False Claims Act. Armstrong has previously admitted to doping and was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, from 1999 to 2005. Landis himself has also admitted to doping, and has settled similar allegations, and was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title.
According to court records, the contract paid the team, which was operated by Tailwind Sports Corp., about $32 million from 2000 to 2004. Armstrong got nearly $13.5 million. Armstrong claimed he didn’t owe the Postal Service anything because the agency made far more off the sponsorship than it paid; his lawyers estimate around $100 million. The government countered that Armstrong had been “unjustly enriched” through the sponsorship and that the negative fallout from the doping scandal tainted the agency’s reputation.
Armstrong reached a $5 million settlement with the federal government, which could have pursued “treble damages” of up to $100 million. As the person who filed the original lawsuit, Landis will receive $1.1 million. Armstrong will also pay $1.65 million to cover Landis’ legal fees. The case against Tailwind Sports Corp., however, continues.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he’s happy to have “made peace with the Postal Service.”