Floyd Landis started the case against Lance Armstrong
Floyd Landis, a former teammate, started action against the shamed cyclist after asserting he made false claims while receiving tens of millions of dollars from the United States Postal Service.
And in 2013, Justice Department officials jumped in on the case – claiming Armstrong defrauded the government by accepting sponsorship money from the service while taking performance enhancing drugs.
Armstrong tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, arguing the team sponsorship was worth far more to the Postal Service than the $32 million it paid from 2000 to 2004.
But today a judge ruled the case will go ahead – and could see the former seven time champion, who was stripped of his titles and banned from competition, pay the government millions of pounds in damages.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour De France titles
The decision, which came from US District Judge Christopher Cooper today, sets the nearly seven-year-old case on course for a jury trial.
The Postal Service paid $32.3 million to sponsor Armstrong’s cycling team from 2000 to 2004.
But officials said it would not have paid such huge sums if it had known the team was violating its contract by using banned drugs and blood transfusions to cheat in races.
Athletes involved in drug scandals Tue, March 8, 2016
The list of professional athletes who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction is a long one, we take a look at some of the main stars who have been caught taking drugs
Play slideshow GETTY 1 of 13
Athletes involved in drug taking
The government now demands the money be returned – and could have that amount tripled under the under the False Claims Act.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Judge Cooper said: “Because the government has offered evidence that Armstrong withheld information about the team’s doping and use of (performance-enhancing drugs) and that the anti-doping provisions of the sponsorship agreements were material to USPS’s decision to continue the sponsorship and make payments under the agreements, the Court must deny Armstrong’s motion for summary judgment on this issue.”
He also noted typical False Claims Act cases normally involve a government supply contract where the benefits are more easily calculable.
Floyd Landis, a former teammate, could get 25 per cent of winnings
Lance Armstrong was also banned from cycling
And he said: "Calculating the benefit of the bargain becomes more difficult in cases where the market value of the product or service involved is not readily ascertainable,
"This is particularly true with contracts for personal or professional services like those provided by the cycling team here.
Armstrong admitted to doping in 2013 after more than a decade of lies.- and was subsequently stripped of his Tour de France jerseys and banned from cycling.
The government filed suit soon after his confession, joining the case originally filed in 2010 by Mr Landis, who stands to get a 25 per cent cut of the damages as a government whistleblower if the case succeeds.
- Team Sky call for WADA intervention
- Sheryl Crow is happy she was not with Lance Armstrong during drug shame
- Cycle of life just goes on