U.S. government's $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong set for trial

U.S. government's $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong set for trial

A federal judge ruled Monday that the federal government's false-claims lawsuit against Lance Armstrong should proceed to trial, rejecting the cyclist's arguments that a court should rule in his favor now.

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, D.C. cleared the way for the federal government's case to move forward in an attempt to collect money for lost promotional value after Armstrong admitted to doping while sponsored by the USPS, said USA Today.

Armstrong won seven editions of the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005, but later admitted to doping and had the wins stripped and was banned from cycling for life in 2012. Armstrong was stripped of those titles and banned from competition.

From 2000 to 2004, the Postal Service paid Armstrong's team, the aptly named U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, a little more than $32 million, most of which went to Armstrong because he was the team's star rider, according to court filings.

Lance Armstrong faces the prospect of "financial ruin" after he failed to block a $100m (£80m) lawsuit brought by the United States government against him and his former team.

Armstrong was said to have run "the most sophisticated doping scheme in sport" by the USA anti-doping agency.

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Landis, himself a former Tour victor caught cheating, would be entitled to up to 25 percent of any money recovered. If the government's case succeeds, Landis acting as the whistleblower stands to get a cut of the damages.

The 2015 loss forced Armstrong to pay $10 million in damages to promotions company SCA for what they called an "unparalleled pageant of worldwide perjury, fraud and conspiracy", wrote US News. "The Postal Service commissioned three separate studies to analyze the effect of the sponsorship on the team". It is seeking almost $100 million in damages. SCA sued Armstrong after his doping admission, demanding the return of an earlier arbitration award after it refused to pay him his race bonus for winning the 2003 Tour due to its doping suspicions.

Eliot Peters, an attorney for Armstrong, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A trial date has not yet been set for the case.

"So the government may now proceed to a trial that, as a practical matter, it can not win", he said.

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