Lance Armstrong: USPS should have known

The disgraced cyclist claims a $120 million lawsuit is bogus, alleging the postal service 'did nothing' despite rumors of his doping.

By Aimee Picchi Jul 24, 2013 10:29AM

File photo of Lance Armstrong competing for the US Postal Service Team at the 1998 First Union US PRO Cycling Championships (© PCN/Corbis)Lance Armstrong was known for his tenacity and stamina as a Tour de France competitor. Now, he's adding audacity to the mix. 

The disgraced cyclist is asking a federal judge to dismiss a $120 million whistleblower lawsuit that claims he defrauded the U.S. Postal Service, his former team's sponsor, reports The Wall Street Journal.

In his efforts to ride down the lawsuit, Armstrong alleges that the Postal Service should have known he was taking performance-enhancing drugs, thanks to media coverage of the doping allegations, The Journal notes. The filing claims that USPS officials "did nothing." 

Remember, Armstrong adamantly denied taking performance-enhancing drugs until January 2013, when he admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used substances such as EPO, human-growth hormone and testosterone. 

The Postal Service's support of Armstrong started in 1995 and ended in 2004, a period during which the cyclist repeatedly denied allegations and rumors of doping. The USPS shelled about $40 million during that time to Armstrong's team.

That sponsorship has come under criticism in the years since, given the agency's precarious financial situation. The post office said on Tuesday it would stop delivering mail to the doors of new homes and would instead drop off letters at mailbox clusters as a way to cut costs. 

Armstrong's 25-page rebuke of the $120 million lawsuit seeks to highlight how the Postal Service benefited from its support of his team. 

Despite the rumors, "the Postal Service renewed the Sponsorship Agreement," Armstrong's attorneys wrote. The USPS "basked in the favorable publicity of its sponsorship," benefiting from access to a "private hospitality tent" on Paris' Champs Élysées and taking part in "exclusive dinners in Paris and invitations to the final night dinner."

The whistleblower lawsuit stems from 2010, when Armstrong's former teammate Floyd Landis alleged that Armstrong had defrauded the U.S. government by accepting millions in sponsorship money with the understanding that there would be no cheating. 

If Armstrong loses the case, he and others named could be liable for triple the amount of the sponsorship, meaning they'd be forced to pay out $120 million, The Journal notes. Landis, meanwhile, stands to receive a reward of up to one-third of the recovered money. 

Armstrong earned $221 million since turning professional, according to a Bloomberg estimate. But he has lost sponsorships with Nike (NKE) and others following his doping admission. He was also stripped of all seven of his Tour titles. 

Regardless of how the disgraced champion's case ultimately fares, he's certainly out ahead of the pack when it comes to chutzpah.

Follow Aimee Picchi on Twitter at @aimeepicchi

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Jul 24, 2013 12:54PM

Isn't the better question why would the bankrupt USPS be sponsoring ANYTHING to the tune of $40 MILLION???  Why are ANY "not-for-profit" or "monopolies" allowed to sponsor ANYTHING?  Why do our public utilities sponsor NFL teams?  The whole thing is ridiculous.  Only non-monopoly companies should be allowed to "sponsor" anything. The general public should not be required to support any sports, except the Olympics. 


As for Lance Armstrong's comments, what a great example of an out of control ego!  Perhaps Armstrong is still experiencing 'roid rage.  Clearly he needs to just shut up.

Jul 24, 2013 11:26AM
What nerve this creep has.  He lies about his PED use for years and then uses it as a defense that USPS should have known about it based on media coverage?  This guy has some gall. 
Jul 24, 2013 5:05PM

Lance should keep his mouth shut and disappear for about 5 years.  Probably his lawyers advised him to make such a bone-headed statement that the USPS should have known he and the rest of their team was cheating.  Really??? Even for lawyers this is ridiculous.


Lance, you let a boatload of people down, dude.  Accept your responsibility and learn humility.

Jul 24, 2013 6:30PM
They would have known if he wasn't a LIAR. Strip him of his titles, cash and honor. I played college football and did not start for the 2 years I played Junior College. I played behind a steroid user. I was fine with that. I later started my junior and senior years at a small college without using. The other guard used steroids. I would have been fine with being a back up then also if not good enough. There were never any questions about if they did or not. It was noticeable. Coaches looked the other way. Lance chose to use them because he felt he would not be good enough any other way. He said he would not have won the Tours without help. He didn't win them...the drugs did. He lied and it wasn't up to the USPS to figure if he was a liar. He fooled lots of people and damaged lots of people along the path of lies. He needs to pay BIG. You only have one reputation and can never make it whole once damaged. We are not talking little white lies here.... I respect people that stand up like Andy Pettit and say they did. Lie and you lose your reputation and all that goes with it. Everything he won he lost away when he started cheating. He just needs to be made to give the physical rewards back now. Lance Armstrong is a zero. His trophy case is empty...he just doesn't know it.
Jul 24, 2013 3:30PM
I can see why Sheryl kicked him to the curb so fast.
Jul 24, 2013 5:40PM

Yeah, they should have known he was a lying, thieving, no good cheat.  What an excuse, but it fits his credentials.

Jul 24, 2013 1:14PM

Terribly lame, Lance, my boy. But what's to lose? Certainly not your reputation or good name. Go for it!


Although I can't see his theory as holding any postiive weight in the civil action against him, very few (if any) persons will not suspect fire when a figure is surrounded by chronic smoke. Many, especially in the business arena, admire a cheat. It's seen as a mark of uncommon savvy if one can regularly cheat on the competition (or the spouse) AND NOT BE DISCOVERED.


Of course, if discovery is made the admirers take a line from the "Casablanca" playbook and are not only sad but "Shocked . . . shocked!" 

Jul 24, 2013 10:18PM
How can Lance leave his home and even show his face in public....He is truly a pathetic human being....
Jul 25, 2013 2:24PM
Maybe he rides off into sunset and delivers mail along the way.
Jul 25, 2013 3:26PM
Maybe the FBI should investigate whether there was conspiracy to committ fraud of a federal institution and stick his **** in jail!
Jul 26, 2013 1:34AM
Make him ride a stationary bike for the next ten years . . .
Jul 24, 2013 10:18PM
DAMN....This turd makes T Woods look "honorable"!!!  Ah hell; God will git 'im!!
Jul 30, 2013 12:41PM
Now it's the Post Office's fault?  New low Mr Armstrong, even for you.  Used to look up to you, now I'd have to dig a deep, deep hole just to look down on you.
Jul 24, 2013 12:27PM
Thanks for including this in the money area. Probably for those who bet, kinda like stock market traders.
Jul 24, 2013 11:55AM
 If anyone is a creep it is Landis. A disgraced cyclist - the first to be stripped of his TDF victory - ratting out other teammates to collect a "whistleblower" reward. 
Jul 24, 2013 12:16PM
 This is all a bunch of malarkey anyway. Why not allow performance enhancing drugs? Everyone uses drugs of some type on fairly regular basis. There is all kinds of evidence of the harm drugs (medication) does to some people and how it helps the majority. Like eating, everyone needs to know how to eat in moderation and take meds in moderation. Lance proved they can help the human body perform and be comfortable and everyone is in an uproar. Instead of learning and benefiting from his activities, jealous people are calling foul! Bunch of cry babies!
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