The U.S. Justice Department sued former cyclist Lance Armstrong on Tuesday, saying that he was “unjustly enriched” while cheating to win the Tour de France, according to a report by the Associated Press.
Tuesday was the final day for the Justice Department to file its formal complaint against Armstrong.
Armstrong’s former team, the U.S. Postal Service, made at least $139 million in worldwide brand exposure in four years, from 2001-2004. Armstrong won seven straight Tour de France titles before being stripped of those wins in light of admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs.
From the Associated Press:
The Postal Service paid about $40 million to be the title sponsor of Armstrong’s teams for six of his seven Tour de France victories. The filing says the USPS paid Armstrong $17 million form 1998-2004.
The lawsuit also names former team Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as defendants.
The financial costs for Armstrong and Bruyneel could be high. The government said it would seek triple damages assessed by the jury.
“Defendants were unjustly enriched to the extent of the payments and other benefits they received from the USPS, either directly or indirectly,” the complaint said.