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Feds join lawsuit against Lance Armstrong

The Justice Department will file a formal complaint in 60 days
02/22/2013 8:08 PM ET
By Matt Hughes

The federal government has joined the whistle-blower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong. The Justice Department will file a formal complaint in 60 days.  

As reported by CNN, the Justice Department is joining the 2010 civil lawsuit filed against Lance Armstrong. The lawsuit accuses the former management of Armstrong's team of defrauding the federal government of $31 million in sponsorship fees. The U.S. Postal service sponsored Armstrong's team from 1996 to 2004, a period that included six of Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles. 

"The defendants agreed to play by the rules and not use performance enhancing drugs," USPS general counsel and executive vice president Mary Anne Gibbons said in a statement. "We now know that the defendants failed to live up to their agreement, and instead knowingly engaged in a pattern of activity that violated the rules of professional cycling and, therefore, violated the terms of their contracts with the Postal Service."

Armstrong's legal team has countered that the USPS benefited from the sponsorship and by their own admission, benefited by more than $100 million. But after several weeks, talks to resolve the issue between Armstrong's legal team and the federal government have apparently collapsed. 

Armstrong's attorney's had no further comment on Friday's Justice Department's announcement. Floyd Landis, Armstrong's teammate from 2002 - 2004, filed the original civil lawsuit in 2010.  

Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in August for doping. Floyd Landis was also stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after a failed drug test.  

Follow Matt Hughes on Twitter: @hughesmatt

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