Posted July 24, 2013

Lance Armstrong: U.S. Postal Service got ‘exactly what it bargained for’

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Lance Armstrong, who confessed his doping to Oprah in January, motioned to dismiss the U.S. government's lawsuit against him. (Handout/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong, who confessed his doping to Oprah in January, motioned to dismiss the U.S. government’s lawsuit against him. (Handout/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong’s legal team said in a motion filed Tuesday that the U.S. Postal Service, the long-time sponsor of his cycling team, should have known that he was doping, reports USA TODAY‘s Brent Schrotenboer.

Armstrong said that doping allegations against him were well known, but the USPS chose to continue their relationship because it benefited them. The comments came in Armstrong’s motion to dismiss a civil fraud lawsuit the U.S. government had filed against him in April.

From Armstrong’s motion (via Schrotenboer’s report):

“Although the government now pretends to be aggrieved by these allegations, its actions at the time are far more telling: Did it immediately fire the Postal Service Team? Did it suspend the team pending an investigation? Did it refer the matter to its phalanx of lawyers and investigators at the Department of Justice for review? It did not.

“Rather than exercise its right to terminate the sponsorship agreement, it instead renewed its contract to sponsor the team. The rationale behind the government’s decision is obvious. Armstrong had recently won the 2000 Tour de France. The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure, and acclaim that goes along with being his sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for.”

Armstrong, a former seven-time Tour de France champion, had long denied allegations of steroid use. He attacked detractors and became one of the most famous athletes in the U.S. and around the world. But last January, in an interview with Oprah, he admitted to an extensive doping regimen. He was stripped of all seven championships.

MORE SPORTS: Chris Froome wins Tour de France

The U.S. government subsequently sued Armstrong under the False Claims Act, alleging that it would not have paid $40 million in sponsorship from 1995 to 2004 had it known the team was cheating. If the government wins its lawsuit, it could win triple damages – $120 million.


16 comments
CoryDowns
CoryDowns

Why does the postal service have the funds to sponsor anything?  I don't recall them being so flush with money.

RaidLakeDodge
RaidLakeDodge

I guess they bargained for a lying, cheating, belligerent bully?

6marK6
6marK6

This guy screamed he was innocent with all his might and sued anybody that implied otherwise. And now he says his advertisers should have known? A-Hole!

MidwestGolfFan
MidwestGolfFan

Regardless of the merits of this particular case, given the way our beloved USPS functions, Lance and the Postal Service deserve each other.

AndrewM1
AndrewM1

He was paid for the publicity that be brought, at that time.  He was a top sporting icon, well beyond his sport.

If they had an ongoing relationship, that would be something different, but they got what they paid for at the time.  There was no negative connotation attached to Armstrong, at that time, and it's not like they lose business now because they sponsored him then.

I'm not excusing what Armstrong did, but I don't see how they have a case.  They paid for high profile, good publicity, and got it.  The bad publicity happened way after they were done paying him.

stabmasterarson21
stabmasterarson21

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA, what an arrogant and pompous SOB.  First class slime this guy and some of you were hanging off his peanuts!

mahi2mahi
mahi2mahi

When you cheat , you cheat . No matter how explain it . Pay back every penny you took . He was cheating from the beginning and they trusted him . He failed .

YZLee
YZLee

Armstrong and Braun, American Icons.

DrRoundball
DrRoundball

This is the silliest defense I've ever seen:  "You can't claim I defrauded you -- you believed my lies instead of the truth!"

NoQNoSuperBowl
NoQNoSuperBowl

Armstrong hardly ever tells the truth, but this time he is.

joeshine730
joeshine730

Lance ought to go to prison for deceit and theft.

Mr_W_I_Young
Mr_W_I_Young

whatever you think about Lance or not he's right about the postal service they knew!!!

Greg30
Greg30

@RaidLakeDodge of they did they've been dealing with the Executive and Legislative Branches since their conception.  Now if the USPS is claiming that the culture of government in general made it difficult to recognize Lance's shortcomings because they deal with lying cheats everyday...now that's another story!!!!

Faux_Philly
Faux_Philly

@DrRoundball It's even worse than that.  He's not even just blaming them for believing him, he's saying that the should have KNOWN he was a liar.  As if all his charitable work, and overwhelming denials and his never having failed a test were all evidence that he was a cheat and a liar.  What a disgrace.  He makes Braun look like a great guy.