USA judge OKs $100M lawsuit against famed ex-cyclist

The federal government is suing Armstrong on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) whose team Armstrong rode for before he was forced out of cycling amid a doping scandal.

And now the United States government behind the lawsuit wants to force Armstrong to pay back that money, which could be tripled thanks to the rules of the False Claims Act.

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

The government's motion sets the amount at $32.3 million, a figure equivalent to the sponsorship paid by the governmental organisation during its tenure as lead sponsor between 2000 and 2004.

Armstrong's legal team didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Armstrong had attempted to have the suit thrown out, but U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper sided with the government.

Landis brought the action in 2010 under the False Claims Act, a piece of legislation originally targeting profiteers during World War 2, but now also used in cases concerning alleged misuse of federal funds generally.

However, the government presented evidence attributing negative messages about USPS to Armstrong's doping and subsequent fall from grace.

Armstrong is banned from cycling for life and was stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories in 2012.

Cooper's ruling said Armstrong makes a "persuasive case", but that any decision on damages should be left to a jury. "(But) disregarding any benefits USPS received from the sponsorship could bestow the government with an undeserved windfall.

The case will now move to a jury trial where damages will be decided.

Armstrong had been one of the most popular sports figures on the planet before his cheating confession.

Lance Armstrong is set to face a $100million lawsuit over his years of doping.

The foundation, which removed him from its board and renamed itself Livestrong, has struggled in the aftermath as donations and revenue plummeted.

  • Leroy Wright