US Postal Service got exactly what it bargained for, say lawyers
Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel have both sought a dismissal of the whistleblower case brought by the United States Justice Department and Floyd Landis. The US Postal team's management company Tailwind Sports, financier Tom Weisel, Armstrong's agent Bill Stapleton and former Tailwind president Barton Knaggs are also implicated in the case which was issued in 2010.
Armstrong's lawyers on Tuesday argued that the case is null and void due to the statute of limitations, also that the US Postal Service "got exactly what it bargained for."
A report in USA Today rehashed part of the motion which read:
"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."
Bruyneel meanwhile also argues the statute of limitations and that he was under no obligation to pay money to the US government.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's Reasoned Decision document and later confessed to using banned methods to achieve his Tour victories. The whistleblower case was reportedly filed by former teammate Floyd Landis that alleges Armstrong defrauded the US government - USPS - by engaging in doping practices. The use of doping substances was in contrary to the contract agreement outlined between Tailwind and USPS.
The case could be worth up to US$100 million after the Federal Department stated they would seek three-times the amount of sponsorship dollars recorded during that period. The amount paid to the US Postal squad is reportedly in the area of $40 million while Armstrong himself allegedly received $17 million from 1998-2004.
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