Cyclist Lance Armstrong spent years vehemently denying that he was taking performance-enhancing drugs and attacked those who accused him of being a cheater. Now, he is essentially arguing that it was clear all along that he was a cheater so he does not have to give anything back to the U.S. government for the sponsorship contract with U.S. Postal Service. In his filing, Armstrong insisted “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.”
The problem of course is the Armstrong was busy attacking people who raised the allegations. Yet, Armstrong is now citing those people he attacked as evidence that he was clearly a fraud all along and yet the Postal Service gave him millions.
The more challenging issue for the government is the six-year statute of limitations for false claims. It will have to toll the statute by relying on Armstrong’s later confession.
The case should focus attention on the use of federal money in such endorsements. I fail to see how the Postal Service gained dramatically in such sponsorships while paying out millions. The government spent more than $31 million during a four-year contract signed in 2000. The government has also named the former team manager, Johan Bruyneel, and team owner, San Francisco-based Tailwind Sports, as co-defendants.
You can add this to the perils of going on Oprah.
On a side note, I found it curious to go to a counter to buy some shoes for my oldest son last weekend at a running store and finding it still selling bars to enhance your performance with the image and endorsement of Armstrong on the wrapper. I saw these bars at the registers to two different running shoe chains. I suppose if anyone knows how to boost performance, it is Armstrong. Then the kids and I watched the movie Dodgeball that night and, you guessed it, Armstrong appeared for a cameo. This was filmed before his confession but Armstrong is shown warning the lead actor about poor decisions that will haunt him the rest of his life.
Source: Washington Post