Late Monday, U.S. district judge Christopher Cooper in Washington, D.C., allowed the United States government lawsuit holding Lance Armstrong accountable for fraud under the False Claims Act to stand. This places Lance Armstrong on the path toward a lengthy and very public trial.

Floyd Landis, Armstrong’s former teammate on the US Postal team, initially brought the suit in 2010 which then snowballed. In 2013, the federal government joined the grievance litigation.

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Fallout

Armstrong’s’ global reputation, status, name, and character were instantly blighted by the fallout. Financially, it cost him significant endorsement deals and future earnings. He was released as a board member from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The organization has since been given itself the new name of Livestrong and continues to see donations and support crash. Furthermore, his payout to settle various damages lawsuits has been more than $10 million dollars.

Media coverage and publicity has exceeded the 100 million dollar mark thus far. Lance Armstrong confessed to cheating. In more than seven Tour de France events, Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs. He has since been stripped of the medals and barred from the sport.

Lawsuit

Armstrong is being sued under the federal False Claims Act. The suit asserts that he and his team perpetuated fraud against the government by their corrupt and unethical behavior as a symbolic ambassador for the Postal Service.

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According to the Washington Post, from 2000 to 2004 the team directed by Tailwind Sports Corporation earned about $32 million, of which Armstrong received close to $13.5 million.

This type of suit permits for ‘treble’ damages which would be triple the amount plus the original money. If the US government is successful, Armstrong would be required to pay it all back.

Judge

U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper wrote, “Giving Armstrong ‘credit’ for the benefits he delivered while using (performance-enhancing drugs) could be viewed as an unjust reward for having successfully concealed his doping for so long.”

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