The United States Government has issued the latest salvo in the long-running battle with disgraced former cyclist and confirmed doper Lance Armstrong, branding the Texan a ‘fraud’.

Armstrong is attempting to fight off a devastatingly costly lawsuit based on the claim that he defrauded the federal government by taking US Postal Service sponsorship money and doping himself to win the Tour de France.

Armstrong’s defence is arguing that they must have known he was doping and didn’t do anything about it. His defence also argues that the US Government “got what it bargained for”. All this despite Armstrong vehemently denying and denying again that he had ever taken any form of performance enhancing drugs or blood doping. Until, that is, he admitted everything to Oprah Winfrey in a television interview in January.

“The Government did not get a ‘winner’, on the contrary, it got a fraud, and all of the publicity and exposure that goes along with having sponsored a fraud,” American paper USA Today reports the Government said in a statement issued on Monday as part of its civil fraud lawsuit against Armstrong.

“That is decidedly not what the Government bargained for. The United States should have an opportunity to recover damages for the money that it paid in reliance on Armstrong’s many lies.”

“Now that he is being called to account for the damage he caused, Armstrong contends that his deceit should have been clear to everyone all along. In particular, he argues that the USPS should have known he was cheating as early as 2000 and, therefore, the Government may no longer seek to recover for the losses it suffered as a result of his lies. But the Postal Service, like millions of others, cannot be faulted for having been deceived by Armstrong.”

Under the False Claims Act, the US Government filed a suit in April to reclaim $31.9m sponsorship money paid to Armstrong’s team from the US Postal Service claiming it was obtained fraudulently. A penalty of up to three times that amount could also be delivered – up to $120m (£78m).

Related links

Lance Armstrong: US Government turned a blind eye to doping allegations

US justice department files documents in legal case against Armstrong

Armstrong fighting to keep sensitive doping case documents private

Armstrong faces whistleblower lawsuit

Lance Armstrong confesses to doping

USADA strips Lance Armstrong of seven Tour titles

Landis admits he doped and implicates others

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  • Mr G Myers

    Armstrong’s defence is arguing that they must have known he was doping and didn’t do anything about it.

    Lance denied doping on every occasion he was asked and castigated anyone who dared suggest that he had! So how USP must have known he was doping is quite beyond me!

  • Jonathan Fletcher

    Can I (and many hundreds of thousands of other people) claim back all the money wasted buying his books that now sit, never to be opened again on my bookshelf…?

  • The Myers

    Armstrong’s defence is arguing that they must have known he was doping.

    I seem to remember that Larry lambasted and attempted to destroy anyone that challenged his numerous affirmations that he did not, had not, would not dope!

    Good Riddance