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.
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.
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.
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.
Yeah, they should have known he was a lying, thieving, no good cheat. What an excuse, but it fits his credentials.
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!"
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Reports say the generous benefactor behind the huge gratuities is a former PayPal executive.
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