Lance Armstrong, currently facing a civil fraud lawsuit brought on by the U.S. government, filed a motion on Tuesday claiming that his U.S. Postal Service team was aware of the doping allegations in 2000 but chose to renew his contract, nonetheless, USAToday reported.
Armstrong, having just won the 2000 Tour de France, claims that the government and his team wanted the positive exposure. Since they knew of the allegations, Armstrong's team is claiming that the U.S. government should thus dismiss the civil fraud suit brought against Armstrong in April.
Armstrong's legal council also suggested that the government's case is too old to try due to the six-year statute of limitations.
When Armstrong's contract was up, the seven-time Tour de France winner said that his team had “actual specific knowledge of specific allegations that its team was doping,” according to the report. His council cited a French media investigation in 2000, which alluded to the allegations.
“Although the government now pretends to be aggrieved by these allegations, its actions at the time are far more telling,” Armstrong's council said. “Did it immediately fire the Postal Service team? Did it suspend the team pending an investigation? … It did not.”
The motion, filed in the District of Columbia, went on to say, “the government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure, and acclaim that goes along with being a sponsor. It got exactly what it bargained for.”
The government's case on behalf of the USPS was filed under the False Claims Act and could recover up to $120 million dollars – three times as much as Armstrong's team was paid from 1995-2004.