Advertisement

April 15, 2014

Department of Justice (DOJ) Intervenes in Qui Tam Action Against Lance Armstrong

The Department of Justice announced in February that it would intervene in a False Claims Act suit filed against former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and others by former teammate Floyd Landis. Reports indicate that in 2010, Landis filed a lawsuit, captioned United States ex rel. Landis v. Tailwind Sports Corporation, et al., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit alleges that Armstrong and his teammates violated the terms of a $30 million sponsorship contract he and his cycling team had with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) by taking drugs to enhance their performances. 

USPS sponsored Armstrong's Tailwind cycling team from 1996 through 2004. During that time, Armstrong and his team took more than $30 million in sponsorship fees. The USPS claims Armstrong violated a contractual promise by regularly employing banned substances and methods to enhance their performance, in violation of the USPS sponsorship agreements. Those sponsorship agreements gave USPS the right to place its logo prominently on the cycling team's uniform, among other promotional opportunities. However, the agreement also required the cycling team to comply with all rules of cycling's governing bodies. Those rules prohibited the use of performance enhancing substances and methods.

For years Armstrong and others denied that the team used performance enhancing drugs, but in October, 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) issued a report concluding that Armstrong used banned performance enhancing substances, starting in at least 1998 and continuing throughout his career. The time Armstrong and teammates were alleged to have been "doping" overlaps significantly with the term of Armstrong's USPS sponsorship. 

After the USADA report, Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used banned substances and methods throughout his career, starting in the mid-1990s. He admitted having used banned substances during each of his seven Tour de France victories, including the six he won while sponsored by USPS. 

The U.S. Government's intervention complaint alleges that riders on the USPS-sponsored team "knowingly caused violations of the sponsorship agreements by regularly and systematically employing substances and methods to enhance their performance" and, as a result, "submitted to the United States false or fraudulent invoices for payment." In addition, the complaint alleges that the Defendants "made false statements, both publicly and to the USPS, that were intended to hide the team's misconduct so that those invoices would be paid." All in all, according to the government, "[b]ecause the Defendants' misconduct undermined the value of the sponsorship to the USPS, the United States suffered damage in that it did not receive the value of the services for which it bargained." In support of its allegations, the government details the prohibited substances used by the Armstrong team, including erythropoietin, human growth hormone, anabolic steroids, and corticosteroids. It also details delivery methods used, including blood re-injections and "the oil," a mixture of testosterone and olive oil. In addition, the government complaint contains a litany of Armstrong's denials of banned substances use over a ten-year period. 

While the Government notified the court that it was joining the lawsuit's allegations as to Armstrong, the Tailwind cycling team, and the team's manager, it advised the court that it was not intervening in the case as to several other defendants named in Landis's complaint.

© 2014 by Tycko & Zavareei LLP

About the Author

Jeffrey D. Kaliel, tycko & zavareei law firm, litigation attorney
Associate

Jeffrey D. Kaliel earned his law degree from Yale Law School in 2005. Mr. Kaliel graduated from Amherst College summa cum laude in 2000 with a degree in Political Science. He spent one year studying Philosophy at Robinson College, Cambridge University, England.

After law school, Mr. Kaliel joined the Honors Program at the Department of Homeland Security, where he worked on some of the Department’s most important appellate litigation, helped to draft and implement regulations for new programs, and worked with the private sector on infrastructure protection programs—highly...

202-973-0900

Boost: AJAX core statistics

Legal Disclaimer

You are responsible for reading, understanding and agreeing to the National Law Review's (NLR’s) and the National Law Forum LLC's  Terms of Use and Privacy Policy before using the National Law Review website. The National Law Review is a free to use, no-log in database of legal and business articles. The content and links on www.NatLawReview.com are intended for general information purposes only. Any legal analysis, legislative updates or other content and links should not be construed as legal or professional advice or a substitute for such advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship is formed by the transmission of information between you and the National Law Review website or any of the law firms, attorneys or other professionals or organizations who include content on the National Law Review website. If you require legal or professional advice, kindly contact an attorney or other suitable professional advisor.  

Some states have laws and ethical rules regarding solicitation and advertisement practices by attorneys and/or other professionals. The National Law Review is not a law firm nor is www.NatLawReview.com  intended to be  a referral service for attorneys and/or other professionals. The NLR does not wish, nor does it intend, to solicit the business of anyone or to refer anyone to an attorney or other professional.  NLR does not answer legal questions nor will we refer you to an attorney or other professional if you request such information from us. 

Under certain state laws the following statements may be required on this website and we have included them in order to be in full compliance with these rules. The choice of a lawyer or other professional is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Attorney Advertising Notice: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Statement in compliance with Texas Rules of Professional Conduct. Unless otherwise noted, attorneys are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, nor can NLR attest to the accuracy of any notation of Legal Specialization or other Professional Credentials.

The National Law Review - National Law Forum LLC 4700 Gilbert Ave. Suite 47 #230 Western Springs, IL 60558  Telephone  (708) 357-3317 If you would ike to contact us via email please click here.