Lawsuit Against Lance Armstrong Will Proceed to Trial Following Cheating Accusations
Feb 15, 2017 05:55 AM EST
Lance Armstrong and his latest case will proceed to trial after a federal judge rejected his appeal to block a $100 million lawsuit relating to a 2010 case arising from the former cyclist’s performance-enhancing drug use. With the lawsuit being filed by professional cyclist Floyd Landis, the federal government also became involved in 2013 after Armstrong’s public admission to cheating in winning the Tour de France seven consecutive times.
After Armstrong’s winning titles were stripped off of him, he was also banned from competition. Consequently, the 45-year-old athlete suffered financial struggles, such as the loss of major sponsors and an obligation to pay over $10 million dollars for damages and settlements in several lawsuits. Landis’ lawsuit against Armstrong has been the biggest one so far, and US district judge Christopher Cooper’s ruling has caused a major hindrance for the Texas native with a trial possibly set in the fall, The Guardian reported.
Landis, a former US Postal Service teammate of Armstrong, accused the latter under the federal False Claims Act, saying that Armstrong’s team cheated while competing under the Postal Service name and committed fraud against the government. The lawsuit against Armstrong also noted that the team was paid with $32 million between 2000 and 2004, with which Armstrong received around $13.5 million.
According to federal law, the lawsuit against Armstrong enables Landis and the government to acquire that money back, or even a tripled amount, while Armstrong could be obliged to pay all of these. Landis, who was previously stripped of his title for winning the Tour de France 2016 by cheating, will obtain up to 25% of the awarded damages, Washington Post reported.
As pointed out by Armstrong, he and his team are not indebted to the Postal Service owing to the fact that agency has raked in more money through the sponsorship compared to the amount it was paying the team.
“Giving Armstrong ‘credit’ for the benefits he delivered while using (performance-enhancing drugs) could be viewed as an unjust reward for having successfully concealed his doping for so long,” Cooper stated. “(But) disregarding any benefits USPS received from the sponsorship could bestow the government with an undeserved windfall. The same could be said of Landis, whose role in this entire affair some would view as less than pure.”
With the federal judge refusing to block the multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Armstrong, Landis’ attorney Paul D. Scott expressed his satisfaction over the case moving to trial. On the other hand, Armstrong’s legal counsel Elliot Peters stated the lack of evidence regarding financial harm by numbers. “So the government may now proceed to a trial that, as a practical matter, it cannot win,” Peters said to the Postal Service.