Lance Armstrong has finally agreed to pay up to settle claims that he defrauded the US government by doping to win tournaments while his team was sponsored by the US Postal Service.
Armstong admitted to using Performance Enhancing Drugs in 2013 after years of denials, and almost immediately after his confession, stories appeared claiming that his fall from grace adumbrated his financial ruin if the Postal Service claimed for reputational damage over Armstrong's cheating. (The cyclist wore a Postal Service logo for six of his Tour de France victories).
The Service did exactly that, with teammate-turned-whistleblower Floyd Landis attached and named as an original claimant.
Armstrong's lawyers maintained that the Postal Service's claim of reputational damage was "bogus", but was Armstrong to go to trial and lose, the US government could have demanded up to $100 million under the False Claims Act.
But, with jury selection slated for two weeks' time, Armstrong has decided to settle the case for $5 million.
Armstrong released a statement through his lawyer in response to the settlement.
I am particularly glad to have made peace with the Postal Service. While I believe that their lawsuit against me was without merit and unfair, I have since 2013 tried to take full responsibility for my mistakes, and make amends wherever possible.
I rode my heart out for the Postal cycling team, and was always especially proud to wear the red, white and blue eagle on my chest when competing in the Tour de France. Those memories are very real and mean a lot to me.
Landis is entitled to $1.1 million of the settlement, with Armstrong also reported to be paying the $1.65 million necessary to cover Landis' legal costs.