United States Considers Joining Cycling Qui Tam Suit Over Doping
The Justice Department is considering joining a qui tam lawsuit now under seal concerning the use of performance enhancing drugs in cycling races. The qui tam relator is Floyd Landis, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong. The federal connection to the lawsuit involves the US Postal Service’s sponsorship of Armstrong’s team for several years, during which time Landis claims that he and others, including Armstrong illicitly used performance-enhancing drugs. The government paid $30.6 million to the team’s management company to sponsor the team from 2001-04. In connection with the Justice Department’s review of the lawsuit, the agency requested documents from an arbitration involving Armstrong’s alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs. Although Armstrong denies the charge of doping, the federal government is investigating claims of cheating in professional cycling. Armstrong’s lawyers recently met with prosecutors in Los angeles.