Lance Armstrong asks judge to throw out $100m federal lawsuit

Lance Armstrong's representatives ask Judge Christopher Cooper to make a summary judgement on his case rather than send it to a jury trial

Lance Armstrong
(Image credit: Watson)

Lance Armstrong (opens in new tab) could see the US federal government's $100m lawsuit against him wiped out if the summary judgement he has asked the judge for is accepted.

In what USA Today described as (opens in new tab) Armstrong's "kill shot", the disgraced cyclist's representatives applied for the key parts of the case to be decided by District Judge Christopher Cooper rather than going to a jury trial.

Armstrong argues that the US Postal Service (USPS), which paid $32m in sponsorship, did not suffer damages (opens in new tab) as a result of the team's use of drugs in the early 2000s.

"In the cold light of morning, the USPS sponsored a cycling team, received far more benefits from that sponsorship than anyone could have anticipated, and therefore have no actual damages and no viable claims against Armstrong," his argument stated. "For these reasons ... the Court should grant Armstrong’s motion for summary judgment."

Armstrong admitted in 2013 that he used performance enhancing drugs (opens in new tab) to win all seven of his Tour de France (opens in new tab) titles between 1999 and 2005.

The US government is suing the Texan for nearly $100m (opens in new tab) under the False Claims Act, but his lawyers are arguing that the rider never had a direct contract with the USPS and wasn't even part of the team when they started sponsoring it.

Armstrong’s argument states: "Although it turns out that Armstrong and other riders on the team used performance-enhancing substances and publicly denied doing so, the USPS enjoyed substantial benefits from the sponsorship and never took steps directly to address or prevent the use of performance-enhancing substances by team."

USA Today reports that (opens in new tab) the government has also requested a partial summary judgement based on 41 claims made by the team for payment from the USPS. Armstrong's argument says that he, himself, never submitted a claim for payment.

A decision from Judge Cooper is not expected for some months, according to USA Today.

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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.