Lance Armstrong faces $100 million lawsuit

Lance Armstrong with Oprah Winfrey

The government joined the case in 2013 after Armstrong publicly admitted using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times.

It came nearly seven years after the government joined a lawsuit filed by Floyd Landis, a former teammate of the seven-time Tour de France victor.

Landis, himself a former Tour victor caught cheating, would be entitled to up to 25 percent of any money recovered.

The US government is suing Armstrong on behalf of the US Postal Service (USPS) and is seeking $100 million (AUD$130 million) in damages.

Armstrong'attorneys had argued in his defense saying that USPS suffered no damages and in fact received far more positive value from the $32.3 million in sponsorship money it paid.

After losing his sponsorships, being stripped of his titles and awards, and finally stepping down as chairman from his cancer foundation in 2012, Armstrong also lost a separate fraud lawsuit in 2015.

Armstrong settled a long-running dispute with Dallas-based insurer SCA Promotions for $7.5 million in 2015. "(But) disregarding any benefits USPS received from the sponsorship could bestow the government with an undeserved windfall. The court found the fallout surrounding Armstrong's widely publicized 2013 confession that he used performance enhancing drugs during his career could lead a jury to conclude the USPS's brand was damaged as a result of its association with Armstrong.

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The case will now move to a jury trial where damages will be decided. "The same could be said of Landis, whose role in this entire affair some would view as less than pure".

Elliot R. Peters, an attorney for Armstrong, told the Post,"A$3 s the Court's opinion reveals, there is no actual evidence of any quantifiable financial harm to the USPS".

He is accused of orchestrating one of the most sophisticated doping schemes in sports.

"The U.S. Postal Service benefited tremendously from its sponsorship of the cycling team".

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

On Monday, a federal judge opened the door for a government lawsuit to peddle its way to trial. The media frenzy that followed pushed the agency to sign the team for another five years.

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