Armstrong lawyers: Justice Department joining fraud suit
By The Associated Press
Published: Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, 1:44 p.m.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong that alleges the former, seven-time Tour de France champion concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs and defrauded his long-time sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service, Armstrong's lawyers said Friday.
The suit the Justice Department is joining was filed in 2010 by former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping.
Settlement discussions had been underway between the Justice Department and Armstrong's lawyers. A person familiar with the negotiations says the two sides are tens of millions of dollars apart on how much Armstrong should pay to settle the case. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the private talks.
An Armstrong lawyer, Robert Luskin, said negotiations with the government failed because “we disagree about whether the postal service was damaged.”
“The postal service's own studies show that the service benefited tremendously from its sponsorship - benefits totaling more than $100 million,” said Luskin.
The Landis lawsuit was filed under seal, but it will be unsealed with the Justice Department decision to join, or in essence, take over the case.
Armstrong was the subject of a two-year federal grand jury investigation that the Justice Department dropped a year ago without an indictment.
Throughout his career, Armstrong always denied drug use, but he confessed to having done so in an interview last month.
In October, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released a report that included affidavits from 11 of Armstrong's former teammates. These affidavits detailed how the teammates were supplied with EPO by Armstrong and saw him inject, and how they were pressured to dope and bullied by Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel, the team manager. The cycling world's governing body then stripped Armstrong of the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005.
Last month, the head of USADA lobbied Attorney General Eric Holder for the Justice Department to join the lawsuit against Armstrong. USADA chief executive Travis Tygart has called the doping by Armstrong and the postal service teams a “massive economic fraud.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- Suspicious device removed from Larimer house
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Indiana County chase ends with car in pond
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- York teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom
- California University of Pennsylvania offers training for weather spotters
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan
- Hempfield native, 22, publishes with local independent press
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK