The U.S. Department of Justice intends to join Floyd Landis' suit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Landis claims Armstrong violated his contract with the U.S. Postal Service by cheating. Landis is Armstrong's former Tour de France teammate who confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs during the Tour de France. According to a Feb. 22 NBC report, Travis Tygart is the CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency. He wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder last month and urged the government to join the Landis lawsuit.
Armstrong's defense attorneys question whether Armstrong actually signed a contract that specifically prohibited blood doping or steroids. The attorneys also question whether the U.S. Postal Service actually suffered damages or whether the statute of limitation has run out on the decade old case.
The Justice Department subscribes to the theory that Armstrong's agreement to race for the U.S. Postal Service team in the Tour de France is the key to their case. The contract should have included a strict ban on illegal drugs. However, blood doping is a process where the person stores, then re-injects his or her own blood to boost performance. The question is whether Armstrong's Postal Service contract specifically addresses blood doping or steroid use.
Armstrong's defense also claims that the postal service did not incur any damages caused by Armstrong. While the agency spent $30 million to sponsor his team, it actually took in over $100 million in benefits from the venture.
For well over a decade, Armstrong adamantly denied using illegal drugs or blood doping. In January, he made a confession during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. Cycle Cross has a transcript of the interview. His confession led to widespread public anger over his cheating and history of aggressive denial. Now he faces even more investigations and lawsuits.