Lance Armstrong sued by U.S. for post office sponsorship funds

Story highlights

  • USPS paid about $40 million to sponsor Armstrong's cycling team, court document says
  • Justice Department is suing Armstrong, manager, company under False Claims Act
  • Complaint charges the use of prohibited drugs constitutes a breach of contract with USPS

The Justice Department late Tuesday formally filed its case against Lance Armstrong and his company Tailwind Sports for millions of dollars that the U.S. Postal Service spent to sponsor the cycling team.

"The USPS paid approximately $40 million to sponsor the USPS cycling team from 1998 to 2004," the court document says.

The government said it was intervening to recover triple the amount of the sponsorship funds under the False Claims Act, which could bring a total of more than $100 million in damages.

Armstrong's return to competition sunk

The complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia charges that the use of prohibited drugs constitutes a breach of contract with the Postal Service.

The government had signaled it would in all likelihood file such an action. The complaint names Armstrong, team manager Johan Bruyneel and Tailwind Sports LLC as defendants. Under the law, the Justice Department faced a 60 day deadline to file its case, which runs out Tuesday night.

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