- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Justice Department filed charges against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong on Tuesday, claiming he violated a contract with his former teammates and “unjustly enriched” himself with his drug-fueled Tour de France wins.

Mr. Armstrong admitted in January he used performance-enhancing drugs to help win all seven of his Tour de France trophies.

The government’s lawsuit stems from a whistleblower suit brought by Floyd Landis, an ex-teammate, BBC reported. Mr. Landis filed a claim under the federal False Claims Act, and in February, government officials announced they intended to jump aboard.

The Associated Press reported the U.S. Postal Service sponsored Mr. Armstrong’s team to the tune of $40 million in six of his Tour de France races.

Court documents filed on Tuesday indicate that the U.S. Postal Service paid Mr. Armstrong around $17 million in a six-year period, beginning in 1998, AP reported. Mr. Armstrong is not the only defendant — the suit names former team director Johan Bruyneel and former team management company Tailwind Sports, AP said.

“Defendants were unjustly enriched to the extent of the payments and other benefits they received from the USPS, either directly or indirectly,” the court documents state, AP reported.

The government is seeking a triple damage award in the case, AP said.