Lance Armstrong says he and his attorneys have built strong case in their on-going legal battle with the US federal government. Armstrong discussed the whistleblower lawsuit Tuesday in an interview on the Joe Rogan Experience show saying, "We think that — we're confident in the case... settlement's not an option."
The United States Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles in 2012, following their investigation into his former team [which was sponsored by the US Postal Service] and their organized doping scheme, said to have been led by Armstrong.
The whistleblower lawsuit, which accuses Armstrong and former colleagues of defrauding the government, was originally filed by Armstrong's former teammate Floyd Landis under the Federal False Claims Act.
The US Justice Department joined the case in 2013 in an effort to recover sponsorship funding paid by the US Postal Service to the team between 1996 and 2004.
The case could see Armstrong lose US$100 million, and a third of those damages could go the whistleblower, Landis. Armstrong has said he fears financial ruin because of this lawsuit. However, in the two-hour discussion with Rogan, Armstrong stated that the lawsuit was hard to talk about because it is still active but that, "we like our case."
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Armstrong went on to say, as transcribed from the interview in a report on Business Insider, "We think that — we're confident in the case. We believe that the Postal Service — while none of this story is, is ... perfect — we believe that the Postal Service — and their own numbers support it — I mean, the Postal Service commissioned three separate studies to analyze the effect of the sponsorship on the team."
The US Postal Service, which is an independent agency of the United States federal government, sponsored Armstrong’s team from 1996 until 2004, and Armstrong won his Tour de France titles from 1999 through 2005. Landis argued that Armstrong defrauded the US Postal Service of their sponsorship funds because he was violating cycling rules by using banned substances during his career with that team.
Armstrong, however, feels differently saying to Rogan, "We believe they [US Postal Service] made hundreds of millions of dollars. And we know that they were also using the team as a sales vehicle, so during the Tour, bringing over potential new clients ... They were actually converting new business to the Postal Service. And we know that happened, and we know that it equaled a significant increase in revenue. So we like our case …
"I'm not a lawyer ... but it's a 'qui tam' case, which is a false-claims case, and my view is — and I think it's one that our side shares — is it's about damages. Was the Postal Service damaged? And what can we prove to be the damages? If there are no damages, then I would like to think there is no case.
"But it is what it is. The federal government is interested, the Department of Justice is interested in the case, and I have no choice but to fight it. After the dozen previous lawsuits, I'm not in a position to really cut any more checks, so I'm in a position where I have to fight this one out."
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