Lance Armstrong settles $100m US lawsuit for $5m

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Washington, April 20 (IANS) American professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong has agreed to pay $5 million to the US government to settle a long-running lawsuit that was to cost him $ 100 million in damages, media reported.

The 46-year-old was accused of fraud by cheating while riding for the publicly funded US Postal Service team.

He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life in 2012 before admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.

“I’m glad to resolve this case and move forward with my life,” the BBC quoted Armstrong as saying.

Armstrong failed to block the lawsuit in 2017, and a trial was set for May 7 in Washington.

In a statement on Thursday, he said he was “particularly glad to have made peace with the Postal Service” despite believing their lawsuit to be “without merit and unfair”.

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“I have since 2013 tried to take full responsibility for my mistakes, and make amends wherever possible,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to devoting myself to the many great things in my life – my five kids, my wife, my podcast, several exciting writing and film projects, my work as a cancer survivor, and my passion for sports and competition.”

The lawsuit was filed by Armstrong’s former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis in 2010, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour title after testing positive for a banned substance.

He was later joined by the government in 2013. Landis is eligible to receive 25 per cent of the settlement as the original claimant, the BBC reported.

Armstrong has also agreed to pay $1.65 million to cover Landis’ legal fees.

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He sued Armstrong under the federal False Claims Act, alleging Armstrong and his team defrauded the government by using banned substances while riding under the Postal Service banner.

The US Postal Service team ran from 1996 to 2004, with Armstrong winning seven Tour titles between 1999 and 2005.

The team were paid about $32 million between 2000 and 2004, with the government potentially able to pursue ‘treble’ damages under the lawsuit, resulting in the $100 million figure.

–IANS

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