It is well known across the world that Lance Armstrong has been accused and found doping during his Tour de France races. He confessed to doping in January 2013 after more than ten years of false denials. Not only was he banned from cycling and stripped of all seven of his Tour de France victories, but now he also faces a lawsuit by the United States on behalf of the United States Postal Service.
The courtroom battle set for May 2018 could cost the former cyclist close to $100 million. Armstrong and the federal government have been trying to settle the case for years, and now the date is set for the court system to determine whether the former Tour de France winner should have to pay for his doping and the lies he used to cover it up from so many years ago. From the years 2000 to 2004, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) paid $32.3 million to sponsor Armstrong’s cycling team. Now, the United States claims that Armstrong was unjustly enriched and that they would not have sponsored him if they had known he was violating the sponsorship contract by using banned drugs and blood transfusions on races. Today, the USPS is seeking nearly three times their initial investment, potentially forcing Armstrong to pay up.
Armstrong has admitted to the doping. However, his defense is that the USPS suffered no damages and, instead, received more in value than their sponsorship amount ($32.3 million). The United States government sees it differently and U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper said that the issue should be decided by a jury. Cooper wrote that, because the monetary amount of the benefits that the USPS received can be plainly seen as a net loss in combination with the negative effects Armstrong’s widely publicized confession about the doping could have caused the USPS, “[d]etermination of damages must therefore be left to a jury. Accordingly, the Court declines to grant Armstrong summary judgment on damages and will set the case for trial.” Come 2018, a jury will decide the fate of the former cyclist and determine if he owes almost $100 million to the USPS.