US government to sue Lance Armstrong

Lance Armstrong during his interview with Oprah Winfrey on January 14, 2013
© AP Photos
The US government are to sue Lance Armstrong over $30m (£19.8m) in sponsorship money paid to him by the US Postal Service.

The United States government has filed a lawsuit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, hoping to claim back around $30m (£19.8m) in sponsorship money.

The 41-year-old was stripped of the seven Tour de France titles he won riding for the US Postal team after he dropped plans to contest charges of doping put forward by the USADA last year.

Armstrong, who admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during an interview with Oprah Winfrey, was believed to have been involved in "the most sophisticated, professionalised, and successful doping program that sport has ever seen".

Ronald Machen, the US attorney for Washington DC, said that the government is seeking to recoup sponsorship money on the grounds that the team's actions damaged the reputation of the US Postal Service.

"This lawsuit is designed to help the Postal Service recoup the tens of millions of dollars it paid out to the Tailwind cycling team based on years of broken promises," said Machen.

Armstrong recently announced that he will not cooperate with the USADA's investigation, which could result in a lifetime ban from competition.

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