Lance Armstrong sued by a former teammate

Their formal complaint will be filed in 60 days.

Lance Armstrong May Be Forced To Pay For His Lies

More Deserved Punishment for Lance Armstrong

The Federal Government, has decided to join a lawsuit filed by a former team mate of Lance Armstrong.  The U.S. Department of Justice will jump on the whistle-blower bandwagon.  Their formal complaint will be filed in sixty days.

Lance Armstrong was the team’s lead rider from 1996 to 2004, when the United States Postal Service sponsored the Tour de France team.  He won six of his seven championships during that period.  The lawsuit will claim that Lance Armstrong, along with his team managers, submitted false claims to procure government funding from the Postal Service.  They were “regularly employing banned substances and methods to enhance their performance” which is in blatant violation of the sponsorship agreement, announced the Federal Government.

Stuart F. Delery, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the civil division, said in a statement: “Today’s action, demonstrates the Department of Justice’s steadfast commitment to safeguarding federal funds and making sure that contractors live up to their promises.”

Between 2001 and 2004, the Postal Service paid $31 million in sponsorship fees, but that affiliation has now been “unfairly associated with what has been described as ‘the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,’ ” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.

“In today’s economic climate, the U.S. Postal Service is simply not in a position to allow Lance Armstrong or any of the other defendants, to walk away with the tens of millions of dollars they illegitimately procured,” Machen said.

The suit originally filed by former team mate, Floyd Landis, was unsealed, so the Justice Department could access and read the agreement between Lance Armstrong’s team and the Postal Department.

“This lawsuit is designed to help the Postal Service recoup the tens of millions of dollars it paid out to the Tailwind cycling team, based on years of broken promises,” Machen said.

The complaint will further state that the defendants agreed to “play by the rules” set forth by the Postal Department.

In a statement not related to today’s legal action, Lance Armstrong said he will not pay back the monies he received in his racing career.  He has also refused to cooperate with the United States Anti-doping Agency.

On a personal note.  I moved to Reno, Nevada, in 1986.  The Tour was very close to the hearts of Northern Nevada residents because of a true hero in the sport, Greg LeMond who trained in the area.  He won one of the most difficult events in sports 3 times, in 1986, 1989, and 1990.  A hunting accident forced him to take time off after 1986.  It was entirely possible he could have won 2 more during his the time he was rehabilitating.  Today, he is an active member of those, who support more thorough investigation of doping in the sport.

When Lance Armstrong was riding in the tour, I watched every televised event, live or taped.  I, like millions of others around the world marveled that a man who conquered testicular cancer could achieve what seemed ‘the impossible’.  When he was accused by riders from other countries of using performance enhancing substances, and Lance Armstrong denied it, I believed him.

As it turns out, without drugs, his super human accomplishments were not humanly possible.  Reprehensible is the word, that comes to mind for him, but it’s not quite right, he is less than a man, he is no better than the CEO of a major corporation, whose only goal is to increase his wealth, and his exalted place in the world at the expense of those who work for his corporation.  No punishment is too severe for the person, who crushed the dreams and hopes of millions of men, women, and children around the world.

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express

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