Citing “years of broken promises,” federal prosecutors on Friday confirmed they’re putting the muscle of the U.S. Department of Justice behind a civil lawsuit accusing disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong of bilking the U.S. Postal Service of tens of millions of dollars.
The move follows a long federal investigation that failed to produce criminal charges against Mr. Armstrong, who reigned atop cycling only to recently admit after years of angry denials that he cheated by using banned substances.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington joined the civil False Claims Act lawsuit accusing Mr. Armstrong, among others, of doping while and he and his cycling team were receiving tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship fees from the U.S. Postal Serve.
“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,” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
“The Postal Service has now seen its sponsorship unfairly associated with what has been described as ‘the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.’”
Prosecutors pointed to Mr. Armstrong’s recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, where he’d contradicted years of denials about using banned substances and explained how he avoided getting caught.
The lawsuit was originally filed by former Armstrong teammate, Floyd Landis, who rode on the Postal Service sponsored cycling team from 2002 to 2004. If the case against Armstrong resulted in a big settlement or victory, Mr. Landis could share in the windfall under a provision in the False Claims Act that lets whistleblowers share in any recovery.
Prosecutors joined the Landis case against Armstrong and two other defendants, but not others named in the case.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Jim McElhatton is an investigative reporter for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
We all eat, and food should be fun and healthful. Food Commune celebrates the food we eat, the people we eat with and the spirits we enjoy.
First over-the-counter column approved for fast and effective relief from even your worst media-induced headache.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
Reflections on raising families in a holistic way -- with a focus on nutrition and alternative health.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall