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U.S. government to sue Lance Armstrong

  • The U.S. government joined a lawsuit against Lance Armstrong on Friday after talks with his lawyers broke down.

    The suit stipulates that Armstrong defrauded the American public by denying he using drugs while riding for the publicly funded U.S. Postal Service team.

    Last month, Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France wins.

    The suit, filed by his former teammate Floyd Landis, also aims to recover sponsorship money from Armstrong.

    "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.

    "This lawsuit is designed to help the Postal Service recoup the tens of millions of dollars it paid out based on years of broken promises. In today's economic climate, the 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,” he added.

    Earlier this week, the 41-year-old said he would not agree to be interviewed under oath by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    Armstrong was charged by the USADA in June 2012 with using performance-enhancing drugs.

    He filed a lawsuit against the organization the following month but then announced in August that he would not fight the charges filed against him.

    He was given a life ban by the USADA and stripped of his Tour de France titles.

    Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005. The U.S. Postal Service sponsored the team between 1996 and 2004.