In the latest instalment in the ongoing ‘whistleblower’ lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, government lawyers have accused the Texan of being a “doper, dealer and liar.” They say that, “no sponsor who knew the truth about how Armstrong achieved his apparent Tour de France victories would have paid any amount of money to sponsor him or his team.”
The lawsuit alleges misuse of government money in the form of cash from US Postal’s sponsorship being used to finance the team’s doping programme. The lawsuit was originally brought by former US Postal Service team mate, Floyd Landis with the Department of Justice joining in 2013 after Armstrong confessed to cheating his way to seven consecutive Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005.
Armstrong could face being ordered to pay damages of nearly $100 million – three times the sponsorship money paid – if the case goes against him, and as initiator of the action, Landis would be entitled to a percentage of that money.
In April, Armstrong’s legal team asked a judge to throw out the government’s case, arguing that it is misguided and essentially worthless. They argue that the US Postal Service was not damaged by the doping and in fact received a greater value of positive publicity and other benefits than it paid out.
USA Today reports that the government responded to that request on Monday with a 59-page document, which concluded: “Armstrong’s motion for summary judgment should be denied in its entirety, and this Court should set a date for trial.”
The government also said: “Armstrong’s claims about the value of the benefits resulting from the sponsorship rest on a patchwork of unreliable data and half-truths, untethered to any economic or legal principle.”
In May, a US federal judge said that Armstrong was wasting government time after he gave insufficient responses to requests for information.