The Justice Department is joining Floyd Landis’ lawsuit against Lance Armstrong. Landis is suing the disgraced bike racer for using performance-enhancing drugs during the Tour de France. The government is getting involved in the lawsuit because Armstrong agreed to race for the U.S. Postal Service team a decade ago in the famous competition. The Justice Department is subscribing to the theory that when Armstrong joined the team, he defrauded the government by violating its strict ban on illegal drugs.
Landis, one of Armstrong's former Tour de France teammates, has already admitted cheating. NBC News reports that some of the claims made in the lawsuit are:
Landis saw Armstrong store and then re-inject his own blood to boost his performance.
Armstrong twice gave Landis banned hormones before races.
Armstrong's attorney, Robert Luskin, said that the Postal Service had no losses deserving of compensation in a statement he made on Friday.
“Lance and his representatives worked constructively over these last weeks with federal lawyers to resolve this case fairly, but those talks failed because we disagree about whether the Postal Service was damaged,” Luskin said. “The Postal's Services own studies show that the Service benefited tremendously from its sponsorship -- benefits totaling more than $100 million.”
If the government wins its suit against him, Armstrong could be looking at humungous fines. The Postal Service paid at least $30 million to sponsor his teams.
According to reports, the CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, Travis Tygart, wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder last month. In his letter, Tygart asked the government to join the suit against Armstrong. He wrote that the Justice Department should get involved “in order to get to the bottom (or top) of this massive fraud.”
Armstrong denied that he cheated for years before coming clean to Oprah Winfrey last month. “This issue of performance enhancers, to me, we're going to pump up our tires, put water in our bottles and, oh yeah, that, too, is going to happen. That was it,” he said.
Source: (NBC News)