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Lance Armstrong Settles $100 Million Government Lawsuit for $5 Million
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Summary: Lance Armstrong settled a whistleblower lawsuit with the US government for $5 million. 

Lance Armstrong faced paying $100 million in damages to the government, but a deal was made where the disgraced athlete will only have to cough up $5 million.

  
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According to the Chicago Tribune, Armstrong was going to face a trial starting May 7 in a whistleblower case that could’ve cost him millions. During his heyday, the cyclist accepted sponsorship from the US Postal Service, but it was later discovered that he had been taking performance-enhancing drugs throughout most of his career. Once the drug use was outed, Armstrong was stripped of his cycling titles, and the Postal Service wanted the money they had spent on the athlete returned, with interest.

Armstrong told AP that he thought the Postal Service lawsuit was “unfair” but that he had made his peace with them.

“While I believe that their lawsuit against me was meritless and unfair, and while I am spending a lot of money to resolve it, I have since 2013 tried to take full responsibility for my mistakes and inappropriate conduct, and make amends wherever possible,” Armstrong said. “I rode my heart out for the Postal cycling team, and was always especially proud to wear the red, white and blue eagle on my chest when competing in the Tour de France. Those memories are very real and mean a lot to me.”

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The lawsuit was filed in 2010 by Armstrong’s former teammate, Floyd Landis, who was eligible for 25% of the settlement under a whistleblower law. The US Government joined the lawsuit in 2013 after Armstrong confessed to drug-use on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show. Although he was retired, his admission cemented his ruin as one of the greatest sports figures in the world.

The Postal Service sponsored Armstrong beginning in 1999, and they endorsed him for another five years. During this period of time, Armstrong and his team dominated the sport and received worldwide attention. According to the lawsuit, the Postal Service had given the team over $30 million, almost $13 million went to Armstrong. Because the government could’ve pursued treble damages, the lawsuit could have cost Armstrong $100 million if he had lost at trial.



In 2012, Armstrong was discovered to have been doping, and after sworn testimony from Landis and other teammates, the US Anti-Doping Agency stripped the famous athlete of his cycling titles.

Since Armstrong’s confession, his seven Tour de France titles were taken away, as well as corporate sponsorships. He was removed from his charity, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, which was evaluated at $500 million. The charity is also known as Livestrong, which the Chicago Tribune said has seen its donations plummet after Armstrong’s fall from grace.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Armstrong is still worth millions because of his real estate ownership and investment portfolio, and he maintains a sports presence by hosting a podcast where he interviews sports figures and celebrities.

What do you think of Lance Armstrong? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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