Federal case vs. Lance Armstrong nears ruling

The long legal war between Lance Armstrong and the federal government is about to reach its most critical stage yet, according to USA Today.

The government is seeking recovery of the money spent by the US Postal Service for the sponsorship as well as monetary damages from violating the False Claims Act.

There are two motions, one initiated by Armstrong’s defense team back in April, and a second one by the government attorneys in response. The summary judgment effectively asks the presiding judge to decide if a trial is even necessary.

The Armstrong side says a trial is not necessary, arguing that the USPS not only suffered zero damages but even received more than the $32.3 million (€28.9 million) it paid in sponsorship, citing analysis done by the USPS that it benefitted to the tune of $165 million (€148 million). The government argues that all that became void when Armstrong admitted to doping, since the USPS paid to sponsor a ‘clean’ cycling team.

Also at issue for the case is whether or not Armstrong himself should be the target of the false claim suit, since he himself did not receive the sponsor payments directly, but rather the management company Tailwind Sports. The government is contending that Armstrong was directly involved with the management of the company.

The judge can either grant Armstrong’s motion and throw out the entire case or proceed to the trial phase, either granting part of either motion or none at all. A decision could come in the coming weeks.