There were two powerful narratives that made Lance Armstrong into a transformative athlete. He was not only the world’s greatest cyclist, winning the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, but he was also a cancer survivor who was an inspiration to people around the world.
There was a secret third narrative, however: Lance Armstrong was one of the best cheaters and liars the world has ever seen. His years-long doping scheme enabled him to deceive the public and to wear the yellow jerseys at the front of those thrilling races. Armstrong recently agreed to pay $5 million to settle False Claims allegations stemming from his admitted doping and cheating.
“A competitor who intentionally uses illegal PEDs not only deceives fellow competitors and fans, but also sponsors, who help make sporting competitions possible,” said a prosecutor. Armstrong had been sponsored for years by the U.S. Postal Service and had received millions of dollars from the independent agency in the federal government.
The sponsorship deals required Armstrong to follow the rules of cycling, which prohibited the use of performance-enhancing drugs. The False Claims Act lawsuit against him alleged that he and his team used PEDs for years, lied to USPS management and to the public in his repeated denials of PED use. The false statements were to induce USPS to renew its sponsorship and increase payments to Armstrong and his team, the suit stated.
In 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Armstrong had for years engaged in a doping scheme designed to help him win the Tour de France. A few months later, Armstrong confessed in a TV interview to his pattern of PED use and deception.
Floyd Landis, a former Armstrong teammate, brought the original whistleblower claim against the cycling icon and is to receive $1.1 million as his share of the settlement.
As the world has seen, whistleblowers help to draw the curtains back from people who defraud the federal government and public.
To speak with an attorney experienced in False Claims Act litigation, contact Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c.