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Entire Department of Justice Statement :
“Lance Armstrong and his cycling team took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service based on their contractual promise to play fair and abide by the rules – including the rules against doping,” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.”
The Department of Justice announced today that the government has joined a civil lawsuit alleging that Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and Tailwind Sports LLC and Tailwind Sports Corporation (Tailwind) submitted or caused the submission of false claims to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in connection with its sponsorship of a professional bicycle racing team by regularly employing banned substances and methods to enhance their performance, in violation of the USPS sponsorship agreements.
From 1996 through 2004, the USPS sponsored a professional cycling team owned by Tailwind and its predecessors. Lance Armstrong was the lead rider on the team, and between 1999 and 2004, he won six consecutive Tour de France titles as a member of the USPS-sponsored team. Johan Bruyneel was the directeur sportif, or manager, of the cycling team.
The sponsorship agreements gave the USPS certain promotional rights, including the right to prominent placement of the USPS logo on the cycling team’s uniform. Each of the agreements required the team to follow the rules of cycling’s governing bodies, which prohibited the use of certain performance enhancing substances and methods. Between 2001 and 2004 alone, the Postal Service paid $31 million in sponsorship fees.
The lawsuit joined today by the government alleges that riders on the USPS-sponsored team, including Armstrong, knowingly caused the USPS agreements to be violated by regularly employing banned substances and methods to enhance their performance. The lawsuit further alleges that Bruyneel knew that team members were using performance enhancing substances and facilitated the practice.
The government today notified the court that it is joining this lawsuit against Armstrong, Bruyneel and Tailwind, and will file its formal complaint within 60 days.
“The Postal Service contract with Tailwind required the team to enter cycling races, wear the Postal Service logo, and follow the rules banning performance enhancing substances – rules that Lance Armstrong has now admitted he violated,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “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.”
“Lance Armstrong and his cycling team took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service based on their contractual promise to play fair and abide by the rules – including the rules against doping,” said Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia. “The Postal Service has now seen its sponsorship unfairly associated with what has been described as ‘the most sophisticated, professionalized, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.’ 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. 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.”
“The Postal Service conducts business with many different contractors and subcontractors, with a large majority of them providing a much needed service and fulfilling their contractual duties. It is critical that public confidence in contractor performance remains high. When that public trust is compromised, as occurred in this case, the Office of Inspector General will fully investigate,” said David C. Williams, Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service, and Office of Inspector General.
“The Postal Service strongly supports intervention by the Department of Justice in this matter and a vigorous pursuit of this case,” said Postal Service General Counsel and Executive Vice President Mary Anne Gibbons. “The defendants agreed to play by the rules and not use performance enhancing drugs. 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. For that reason, the Postal Service fully agrees with the decision by the Department of Justice to seek appropriate damages under the False Claims Act.”
For many years, including during the USPS sponsorships, Armstrong and others repeatedly denied that the team used performance enhancing substances or methods. Yet on Oct. 10, 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) issued a report concluding that Armstrong used banned performance enhancing substances starting in at least 1998 and continuing throughout his professional career, and that he pressured and helped his teammates to engage in similar conduct. Accordingly, USADA disqualified all of his competitive results since Aug. 1, 1998, including his seven Tour de France victories, and banned him from sport for life pursuant to the World Anti-Doping Code.
In a recently-televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong contradicted his earlier denials and admitted that he used banned substances and methods throughout his career, starting in the mid-1990s. In particular, he admitted having engaged in banned practices during each of his seven Tour de France victories, including the six he won as a USPS rider. Armstrong explained that he avoided detection by anti-doping authorities by carefully timing his use of banned drugs so that they would leave his system prior to his undergoing cycling’s required periodic drug testing.
The lawsuit joined by the United States was filed by Floyd Landis, a former rider and teammate of Armstrong on the USPS sponsored team from 2002 through 2004. The lawsuit was filed under the False Claims Act, which imposes liability on those who submit false claims for government funds, and provides for the recovery of three times the government’s damages, plus civil penalties. The False Claims Act contains a qui tam or whistleblower provision, which permits private parties to sue on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in any recovery. The False Claims Act permits the government to investigate the allegations and intervene, or decline to intervene in the whistleblower’s lawsuit. While the government notified the court that it was joining the lawsuit’s allegations as to Armstrong, Bruyneel, and Tailwind, it advised the court that it was not intervening in the case as to several other defendants named in the complaint.
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Delery and U.S. Attorney Machen commended the coordinated effort of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and the USPS Office of Inspector General and Office of General Counsel, in their investigation of this matter.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is captioned United States ex rel. Landis v. Tailwind Sports Corporation, et al. The claims made in the complaint are only allegations and do not constitute a determination of liability. Trial Attorney Robert Chandler of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Darrell Valdez and Mercedeh Momeni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia are representing the government.
Why Lance did Oprah; a different perspective
I watched the Lance Armstrong interview last Thursday and Friday. There has been lots of commentary and reaction to his interview. I particularly was interested in the reaction of people like Tyler Hamilton, his former teammate and author of The Secret Race, and from Betsy Andreu wife of Frankie Andreu and one of the first people to challenge Lance about his doping. My reaction to a Lance’s interview on Oprah is that he remains a consistently egotistical jerk in the face of all who have now revealed his cheating ways. He says he didn’t read Tyler Hamilton’s book—if anyone buys that I have some bridges to sell to them.
Lance says he is coming forward now so that he can return to professional sports after a reasonable period of time. At the moment he faces a lifetime ban from any sport with anti-doping regulations enforced by the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) so that eliminates pro cycling, and almost all marathons and triathlons. What Lance is doing has nothing whatsoever about a desire to return to pro sports at any level. Pro cycling is out of the question forever; which event would invite him or who would even want to race with him. Further, imagine the protection he would need? In the past Lance complained that some fans were throwing beer on him as he raced up the Alpe D’Huez during the Tour de France I suspect that those fans in France would throw more than beer on him if he took another trip up the Alpe D’Huez. Does he really think anybody wants to see him enter into any competition? Frankly Lance would be delusional if he harbors any thought that he would get paid appearance money as he has in the past for merely entering a sporting event, unless that is he want to take up pro wrestling.
So why did Lance go on Oprah? As a trial lawyer I see this whole Lance-Oprah show as having only 2 audiences; potential jurors for any number of upcoming trials he faces and his opposing counsel. Lance is well advised by teams of lawyers and by experienced media relation advisors. He is showing how good of a witness he can be, maintaining control throughout the questioning. There is every reason to suspect that Lance and his co-defendants are deep into negotiations with the US Department of Justice over the False Claims Act qui tam civil suit filed by Floyd Landis to potentially recover three times what the US Postal Service paid to sponsor the Postal Service team. Reportedly Lance and company offered $5 million to settle, while the government’s demand potentially is closer to $95 million. The parties are talking. That I suspect is why the US DOJ did not publicly announce its decision about joining the Floyd Landis qui tam lawsuit. The US DOJ had announced that it would announce its decision last Thursday. Instead it held off. I suspect that Lance went on Oprah to show the US DOJ that he can be a formidable, unshakable witness at trial to influence those settlement negotiations. He also needs to start rehabilitating his public image as eventually he will be could expect to be facing multiple juries as numerous parties will be coming after him.
Lance at this point probably could care less about the sport, and his fans. Watching the interviews it seemed to me that his regret is not that he cheated, but that he got caught. Lance in the end seems to care only about Lance.
For the first time since cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from elite competition by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, he sits down for a no-holds-barred interview, with Oprah. For years, he’s denied that he used banned substances to enhance his cycling performance. Will he finally come clean? Find out now.
For more than a decade, Lance Armstrong adamantly denied that he ever used banned substances—like erythropoietin (EPO), testosterone, cortisone or human growth hormone—to improve his cycling performance. Now, after admitting his guilt to Oprah, Lance reveals why he decided to finally tell the truth.
Code words. Private jets. Secret blood transfusions. For almost a decade, Lance Armstrong was involved in a systematic doping ring that spanned several countries. How did it work? Watch as Lance shares details and reveals which banned substances went into his cocktail.
Between 1999 and 2005, Lance Armstrong led the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team and, later, the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team to the top of the podium at the Tour de France seven consecutive times. Find out why Lance believes he and some of his teammates had to dope in order to win.
After Emma O’Reilly, a former masseuse for Lance Armstrong’s cycling team, told the media that a doctor backdated a cortisone prescription for Lance, the champion cyclist went on the attack. Lance sued Emma, even though he now says she was telling the truth. Watch as Lance reveals how his desire to control every outcome made him do “inexcusable” things. Plus, find out how he’s trying to make amends.
Lance Armstrong opens up about his reckless behavior; his association with controversial Italian sports trainer and medical consultant, Dr. Michele Ferrari; and his flaws that were magnified by fame. Watch as he reveals how his desire to “win at all costs” and his arrogance made him willing to risk it all.
Armstrong’s Most Humbling Moment
Lance Armstrong says the fallout began in October 2012, shortly after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped him of his Tour de France wins. He lost sponsorships worth tens of millions of dollars from corporations like Nike and Anheuser-Busch. Then, Lance says, came the lowest moment. Watch as he tells Oprah why stepping away from his foundation, Livestrong, was the hardest.
Lance Armstrong Owe an Apology To?
After coming clean about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, Lance Armstrong, a man who says he truly believed he was invincible at one point in his life, owes many people apologies. Watch as he tells Oprah how this is part of his process. Plus, Lance reveals whether he’d sit down with David Walsh, a journalist who pursued the truth about the cyclist for 13 years.
Does Armstrong’s Punishment Fit the Crime?
In hindsight, Lance Armstrong says, he wishes he could go back in time and admit to doping at the same time as some of his former teammates. After admitting the truth, many of those cyclists were banned from competition for six months. Lance, however, was eventually given a lifetime ban. Does he think he got what he deserved? Watch and see.
Armstrong Says He Deserves a Chance to Compete Again.
Lance Armstrong has spent most of his life training and competing at the highest levels, but since the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency banned him from elite competition, he says, he can’t even run a local 10K race. Is Lance finally coming clean about his use of banned substances in hopes of someday returning to cycling? Find out now.
Armstrong Takes His Defiance to Twitter
Just weeks after being stripped of his Tour de France titles, Lance Armstrong tweeted out a photo of himself in his Austin, Texas, home. Under the photo, which shows him relaxing beneath his seven famed, framed yellow jerseys, he wrote, “Back in Austin and just layin’ around.” Watch as he tells Oprah how that tweet was an act of defiance…and why he thought it was a good idea at the time.
Armstrong on Telling His Son the Truth
Lance Armstrong, a father of five, has been denying allegations that he doped for the entire life of his 13-year-old son, Luke. Watch as Lance shares the moment he knew he had to tell Luke the truth and tell him to stop defending his reputation online. How did Luke react? Find out now.
If you missed it the first time here it is again!
In a released statement said: “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction but if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
In a released statement said: The UCI welcomes Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to come clean and to confess to using performance-enhancing drugs, in the first part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey. We note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome.”
In an interview with British television channel ITV: “I had only ever spoken about it because I hated seeing what some of the riders were going through, because not all the riders were as comfortable with cheating as Lance was. And you could see when he went over to the ‘dark side’ personalities change – and it was an awful shame.”
In an interview with Le Soir: “He admitted it and it’s difficult to hear. I was quite close to him and he often looked me right in the eyes when we discussed doping and obviously he said ‘no’. Since the USADA (U.S. Anti-Doping Agency) published their report, I well imagined that things would go badly for him. My disappointment was already huge at the time but it is even more so now”
In an interview with RTE: “I don’t know whether he wants to leverage that (his admission of guilt) against something else, whether he’s trying to cut a deal that would enable him to compete in triathlons and that. If he’s genuine about it he’ll be knocking on Travis Tygert’s door today and saying ‘Okay, I will testify under oath, I want to do this sport a service, I’ve caused it terrible damage’.”
In an interview with the BBC: “The Sunday Times will be looking for around $2 million back from Armstrong, he should pay that back now straight up, no questions, because the Sunday Times were the one newspaper at that time asking the right questions. The Sunday Times are saying now: ‘Lance, you admit you doped, give us our money back, do the fair thing, if you don’t do the fair thing we will go all the way to get our money back’.”
In an interview with Reuters TV: “It is unimaginable to think that there was a generalised system of doping in his team without the help or involvement of other institutions or protagonists. So he benefited from protection. He didn’t reveal them. I think that all this was negotiated ahead of this Hollywood show to protect his back and possibly to save his foundation.”
In an interview with the BBC: “Lance Armstrong was living in his own horrible world. He’s got no morals and he’s a disgusting human being. The sad thing is there were clean riders who had livelihoods and careers stolen from them by Lance and we’re probably not going to see those people vindicated in any way through this.”
When asked by reporters had this to say: “Lance deceived everybody on the planet, us included. Obviously we all wanted to believe also he was winning the Tours clean. We are all athletes suffering through the mountains and you’d like to think that he was just training harder and working harder than we all were. But now it’s all come out, (I am) deceived, annoyed, frustrated.”
In an interview with the AFP: “We have to know more about it, to get to the bottom of things in such a way that it can’t happen again. We were given a calculated public relations exercise with clearly rehearsed answers. You can’t dope as he did over the years without help. We (the Tour de France) have long said that a rider shouldn’t be the only one to pay the price.”
Posted on Twitter: “What a snivelling, lying, cheating little wretch @lancearmstrong revealed himself to be tonight. I hope he now just disappears.”
Lance Armstrong will admit to doping during his famed cycling career in an upcoming interview with Oprah Winfrey, according to USA Today Sports.
MUST VIEW FROM A REAL COMPUTER!
The Coming Confession
By Seth Davidson
Lance is getting ready to confess. He’ll make the announcement in the next few days, or he’ll wait until the UCI strips him of his titles and announce it then.
I’m predicting the former.
Armstrong is the ultimate in realpolitik. He showed his hand when he walked away from the arbitration hearing, betting correctly that there was no way he would beat the testimony of his closest confidantes.
Like an expert chess player losing pieces as strategically as possible to slow in the inexorable march to checkmate, Lance first lost the cycling world, then the triathlon and running worlds, then the sponsored spokesman world, and finally the queen on his chessboard, the chairmanship of Livestrong. [Read more…]
Lance Armstrong investigation conducted by Justice Department for contract fraud still ongoing issue for disgraced cyclist.
Armstrong’s lawyers battled to keep documents sealed, saying they were concerned that officials would leak information about the case to the press. They argued that leaks would prejudice a criminal investigation by the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney, which was unexpectedly dropped in February.The United States Attorney in Los Angeles may have dropped his investigation of Lance Armstrong earlier this year, but it looks like the Justice Department isn’t done with the disgraced cyclist just yet.
A federal judge unsealed documents last week that say the U.S. Postal Service, which paid approximately $40 million to sponsor Armstrong and his team from 1996-2004, is investigating the cyclist for contract fraud. The Postal Service contract specifically banned doping and required the team to take “immediate action” against individuals who used substances banned by cycling’s governing bodies.
Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour de France cycling winner stripped of his titles on charges he cheated, has resigned from the board of the Livestrong Foundation, the charity he began 15 years ago after testicular cancer nearly ended his career.
The move, coming 18 days after he stepped down as the group’s chairman, is designed to further distance him from the Austin, Texas-based foundation as a way to help it survive the fall from grace of one of the world’s best-known athletes, officials said yesterday in announcing the move.
Armstrong’s last day as a board member was Nov. 4, said Katherine McLane, a foundation spokeswoman. While the group’s officials said they have sufficient reserves to overcome a contribution downturn, supporters said they were concerned the move may not be enough to overcome the damage already done.
“It’ll take years until people think of it as something other than being” Armstrong’s charity, said Steve Schooner, 52, a testicular cancer survivor whose fundraising won him a bike ride with Armstrong in 2009 and brought in $50,000 for the foundation. “He is the engine behind most of the high-profile fundraising and events. Even a tour of the headquarters, with his jerseys and bike art, makes clear he’s the focal point.”