Sydney: Joining a slew of lawsuits against Lance Armstrong, the US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the disgraced cyclist, saying that he had violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and was ‘unjustly enriched’ while cheating to win the Tour de France titles.
The Postal Service paid about 40 million dollars to be the title sponsor of Armstrong`s teams for six of his seven Tour de France victories, while the filing says the USPS paid Armstrong 17 million dollars from 1998-2004.
The report further said that the lawsuit also names former team Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as defendants. Stating that it would seek triple damages assessed by the jury, the government complaint stated that Armstrong and Bruyneel were unjustly enriched to the extent of the payments and other benefits they received from the USPS.
However, Armstrong`s attorney Elliot Peters called the government`s complaint ‘opportunistic, and insincere’, arguing that the Postal Service benefited greatly from its sponsorship of the cycling team.
Stating that the USPS was never the victim of fraud, Peters added that Armstrong had given the brand tremendous exposure during the sponsorship years, as can be seen from previous studies done for the body.
However, the complaint argued that the contract with the Postal Service required riders to follow the rules of cycling, which included bans on performance-enhancing drugs and methods, adding that Armstrong and Bruyneel had committed fraud against the U.S. government by breaking the rules and covering it up.