The Justice Department late Tuesday formally filed its case against Lance Armstrong and his company Tailwind Sports for millions of dollars that the U.S. Postal Service spent to sponsor the cycling team.
"The USPS paid approximately $40 million to sponsor the USPS cycling team from 1998 to 2004," the court document says.
The government said it was intervening to recover triple the amount of the sponsorship funds under the False Claims Act, which could bring a total of more than $100 million in damages.
The U.S. Department of Justice has joined a whistle-blower lawsuit against cyclist Lance Armstrong that was originally filed by a former teammate, an attorney for Armstrong said Friday.
Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after failing a drug test, filed a suit in 2010 against their former team, which was sponsored the U.S. Postal Service.
The lawsuit accused the team's former management of defrauding the government of millions of dollars because the team management knew about team members' drug use and didn't do anything.FULL STORY
Former cyclist Lance Armstrong will not cooperate with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's investigation of performance enhancing drug use in the sport, an Armstrong attorney said Wednesday.
USADA had given Armstrong - who publicly admitted such drug use last month - until Wednesday to decide whether he would cooperate under oath with investigators as part of a possible path to altering his USADA-imposed lifetime competition ban.
"Lance will not participate in USADA's efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95% of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction," Armstrong attorney Tim Herman said in a written statement Wednesday.FULL STORY
The fallout from Lance Armstrong's admission that he used performance enhancing drugs and blood doping continues.
a sports insurance company that paid the disgraced former cycling champ more than $10 million in bonuses plans to file a lawsuit to recover its money, an attorney for SCA Promotions told CNN on Wednesday.
Jeffrey Tillotson said SCA has already asked Armstrong for the money back.
"We made our demand for the return of the money we paid him for winning the Tour de France races where the titles were stripped," Jeffrey Tillotson told CNN's Ashleigh Banfield. "Mr. Armstrong and his legal team have not complied with that demand."
The U.S. attorney who initially decided against pursuing charges against cyclist Lance Armstrong said Tuesday he has not changed his mind, despite Armstrong's recent admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
"That has not changed my view at this time. Obviously we'll consider, we'll continue to look at the situation, but it hasn't changed our view as I stand here today," Andre Birotte, the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles, told reporters at the Justice Department in Washington.
Calling himself "deeply flawed," now-disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong says he used an array of performance enhancing drugs to win seven Tour de France titles followed by years of often angry denials.
"This is too late, it's too late for probably most people. And that's my fault," he said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that was aired Thursday night. "(This was) one big lie, that I repeated a lot of times."
Armstrong admitted using testosterone and human growth hormone, as well as EPO - a hormone naturally produced by human kidneys to stimulate red blood cell production, which increases the amount of oxygen that can be delivered to muscles, improving recovery and endurance.FULL STORY
The International Olympic Committee has stripped Armstrong of the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, an IOC spokesman said Thursday. The committee has told Armstrong to return it.
The cancer charity founded by cyclist Lance Armstrong has released a statement calling on him to be "completely truthful" about claims that he used banned substances.
The statement comes one day ahead of the expected airing of part of Armstrong’s much-anticipated interview with Oprah Winfrey. In the taped interview, scheduled to air Thursday and Friday, Armstrong is said to have acknowledged using performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
“This week, Lance came to the LIVESTRONG Foundation to talk to our team in person. He expressed his regret for the stress the team suffered in recent years as a result of the controversy surrounding his cycling career. He asked that they stay focused on serving people affected by cancer, something our team has always done excellently and will continue to do,” the statement posted on Livestrong.org said.
“We expect Lance to be completely truthful and forthcoming in his interview and with all of us in the cancer community. We expect we will have more to say at that time. Regardless, we are charting a strong, independent course forward that is focused on helping people overcome financial, emotional and physical challenges related to cancer. Inspired by the people with cancer whom we serve, we feel confident and optimistic about the Foundation’s future and welcome an end to speculation.”
Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the charity in 2012.
A member of the board of Livestrong, the cancer foundation founded by Lance Armstrong, said Tuesday he felt betrayed by the doping controversy that has engulfed the cycling star but hopeful that Armstrong can emerge from it and do more good for cancer sufferers.
"It's been devastating," Livestrong board member Mark McKinnon said on CNN's "Early Start."
"But I'm glad Lance is coming forward," he told CNN's John Berman, referring to Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he's said to have acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs.
McKinnon said an admission would be a good starting point for Armstrong to continue helping the foundation.
“I think he’s got a lot of apologies, I think he’s got to crawl over a lot of broken glass … but the one thing they can’t take away from him is his cancer survivorship," McKinnon said.
"That story gives great hope to millions of people," said McKinnon. "There’s a lot of good work he can continue to do there if he’s willing to sacrifice and make clear that he’s sacrificing for the cause, that he’s willing to serve a cause greater than himself."
[Updated at 9:34 a.m. ET] Sometimes news travels faster than an airplane.
Media reports began swirling immediately after Lance Armstrong’s interview Monday with Oprah Winfrey that he admitted for the first time to using banned substances.
Those details came despite an agreement between Armstrong’s camp and Winfrey that they would not leak any details of the interview, she told CBS on Tuesday.
But it didn’t last for long.
"By the time I left Austin [Texas] and landed in Chicago, you all had already confirmed it," Winfrey told CBS, seemingly referring to the media. "So I'm sitting here now because it's already been confirmed.”
While Winfrey characterized the nature of the interview, she was not specific in the words Armstrong used or what specific admission he made.
Winfrey said Armstrong "did not come clean in the manner that I expected."
She said he "was ready" and "met the moment."
"We were mesmerized and riveted by some of his answers," Winfrey said.
The interview lasted two and a half hours and will air across two nights on her network, OWN, and will be streamed on her website, Oprah.com, she told CBS. The first part will air Thursday from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET.
[Updated at 3:19 p.m. ET] Lance Armstrong was “tearful” during his comments to the staff at Livestrong but did not admit to using steroids or talk about that issue at all, according to Rae Bazzarre, Director of Communications for the Livestrong Foundation.
[Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET] We just received a comment from the Director of Communications for the Livestrong Foundation about what Armstrong said today.
"Lance came to the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s headquarters today for a private conversation with our staff and offered a sincere and heartfelt apology for the stress they’ve endured because of him and urged them to keep up their great work fighting for people affected by cancer," Rae Bazzarre said.
[Posted at 12:34 p.m. ET] Cyclist Lance Armstrong apologized to staff on Monday at the Livestrong foundation's office in Austin, Texas, according to a publicist for the foundation.
Katherine McLane did not provide any information about what Armstrong was apologizing for.
The apology came ahead of Armstrong's scheduled interview with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey - his first since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in a doping scandal.
Lance Armstrong has quit the board of his namesake foundation - the latest fallout from allegations of doping that brought about the cycling icon's epic downfall.
He chose to resign from the Lance Armstrong Foundation - known by the name Livestrong - "to spare the organization any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career," according to a statement by Jeff Garvey, the foundation's chairman.
"We are deeply grateful to Lance for creating a cause that has served millions of cancer survivors and their families. We are beholden to the Armstrong family for the nearly $7 million in contributions throughout the foundation’s history. Lance Armstrong was instrumental in changing the way the world views people affected by cancer."
Armstrong previously gave up his position as chairman in the wake of the growing scandal, but said he would remain involved.
Although the Tour de France has revoked the seven victories that made him a legend, Armstrong tweeted a photo over the weekend showing himself lounging on a sofa beneath the seven prized yellow jerseys.
He has long insisted he did not cheat, and attacked those who accused him of using illegal substances. But the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found "overwhelming" evidence that he was involved in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program."
Editor's note: This weekend CNN airs "The world according to Lance Armstrong," a documentary that delves into the doping accusations against the former champion cyclist. Watch it on CNN TV at 9 p.m. and midnight ET on Saturday and 3 a.m. ET on Sunday. For more, here are PDF files of USADA's decision and Armstrong's response.
There will officially be no winner of the Tour de France for the years 1999-2005 after cyclist Lance Armstrong was disqualified for doping, cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union, announced Friday.
“The Management Committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events,” the group said.
Editor's note: Lance Armstrong has been stripped of the seven cycling titles that made him a legend. The decision follows this month's finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that there is "overwhelming" evidence that Armstrong was involved as a professional cyclist in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program."
[Updated as 1:43 p.m. ET] An insurance company that covers the performance bonus for Lance Armstrong says it wants all of the money paid to the cyclist returned.
SCA Promotions said it "is considering all legal options to pursue a return of the funds paid."
"Mr. Armstrong is no longer the official winner of any Tour de France races and, as a result, it is inappropriate and improper for him to retain any bonus payments made by SCA."
Potentially on the verge of losing his most prized cycling medals, and already shedding sponsors who gave him enormous wealth, Lance Armstrong said Sunday it's been "an interesting and at times very difficult few weeks."
Speaking to participants in his cancer-fighting foundation's annual Ride for the Roses, Armstrong said, "People ask me a lot how are you doing. And I tell them I've been better, but I've also been worse."
In his brief remarks to a crowd in Austin, Armstrong didn't mention the recent finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) of overwhelming evidence that Armstrong was involved as a professional cyclist in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program." Armstrong has denied the accusations for years and attacked those who said he took part in doping - including fellow cyclists.
He stepped down last week as chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, but said he will continue to be involved. Some of the foundation's donors are furious over the scandal, and want their money back.
"We will not be deterred," Armstrong said Friday night at the organization's 15th anniversary celebration in Austin, Texas. "We will move forward."
The USADA has called for Armstrong to lose his seven Tour de France titles. The International Cycling Union, which has the authority to strip him of those titles, plans to respond Monday.
Editor's note: Controversial American cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman from his Livestrong cancer charity. The announcement comes a week after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said it had uncovered overwhelming evidence of Armstrong's involvement in a sophisticated doping program. For more information read our full story here.
[Updated at 3:01 p.m. ET] Lance Armstrong is about to lose another sponsorship.
The controversial cyclist will lose his contract with Anheuser-Busch, the brewer of Budweiser, at the end of the year.
"We have decided not to renew our relationship with Lance Armstrong when our current contract expires at the end of 2012," Paul Chibe, Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Anheuser-Busch said in astatement. "We will continue to support the Livestrong Foundation and its cycling and running events."
[Updated at 12:18 p.m. ET] Nike will take Lance Armstrong’s name off their Nike campus fitness center in Beaverton, Oregon, spokeswoman Mary Remuzz tells CNN.
[Updated at 9:26 a.m. ET] While Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of his charity he is remaining positive about his continued involvement with regard to helping those with cancer.
"My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change," Armstrong said. "We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."
Armstrong will continue to help without the backing of his partners at Nike. Fifteen days ago he posted on his Facebook page:
"Had a great coupla days in Portland working with my great partners Nike. Awesome to see the show of support on livestrongday. 16 yrs!" he wrote. "Headed back 2 Austin now 2 celebrate with family/friends. There were days I never thought I'd see 2012. Blessed to be this side of the grass."
As of this update, the status had 10,911 "likes." Armstrong's most recent tweet, from five days ago, praised the work of Livestrong.
[Updated at 8:52 a.m. ET] Lance Armstrong's commitment to helping others with cancer has been a big reason the Livestrong was able to raise so much money over the years, Doug Ulman, President and CEO of the charity said in a statement.
"Long before he became a household name, Lance Armstrong created a foundation to serve others facing the same fears and challenges he struggled to overcome as a result of his cancer diagnosis. Today, thanks to Lance's leadership, that foundation has had the privilege of raising close to $500 million to serve people affected by cancer.
Lance has made this foundation and its cause - aiding people whose lives have been touched by this disease - his life's work. His leadership in the cancer community has spurred immeasurable progress and it has been a great privilege to work shoulder to shoulder with him on a daily basis during his chairmanship.
We are grateful to Jeff Garvey for assuming the responsibilities of chairman. Jeff has been a guiding presence for Livestrong for 15 years and we look forward to a seamless transition under his leadership and a continued strong focus on our core values and mission.
Lance's devotion to serving others whose lives were irrevocably changed by cancer, as his was, is unsurpassable. We are incredibly proud of his record as an advocate and philanthropist and are deeply grateful that Lance and his family will continue to be actively involved with the Foundation's advocacy and service work. We look forward to celebrating 15 years of progress with Lance and his family this weekend and recommitting ourselves to the work of the cancer community for the years ahead."
[Updated at 8:47 a.m. ET] Lance Armstrong is stepping down as chairman of the Livestrong charity "to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career," according to a statement posted to the group's website.
Armstrong added that he will still devote his life to the work of the foundation and remain advocates for cancer survivors.
The controversial cyclist's full statement was posted on the Livestrong website:
"In 1996, as my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organization that today has served 2.5 million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. This organization, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.
I am deeply grateful to the people of the foundation who have done such hard and excellent work over the last 15 years, building tangible and effective ways to improve the lives of cancer survivors. And I am deeply humbled by the support our foundation has received from so many people throughout the world - survivors, world leaders, business leaders and of course, the cancer community itself. We turn to this community frequently for guidance and collaboration to achieve our shared goals. They are unfailingly generous with their wisdom and counsel and I can never thank them enough.
I have had the great honor of serving as this foundation's chairman for the last five years and its mission and success are my top priorities. Today therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.
My duties will transfer to Vice Chairman Jeff Garvey who will serve as chairman. Jeff's guidance and wisdom have been critical to shaping the foundation's work since its earliest days. Jeff was this organization's founding chairman and I have full confidence that under his leadership, the foundation will continue expanding its ability to serve cancer survivors.
My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change. We plan to continue our service to the foundation and the cancer community. We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer. And we look forward to an exciting weekend of activities marking the 15th anniversary of the foundation's creation."
A former assistant to Lance Armstrong and his cycling team who first told her tale of the team's alleged doping abuses nearly a decade ago says her goal has never been to bring the legendary cyclist down.
"I'm hoping and in the long term think it will be good for cycling and it will be good for the riders involved in cycling because I think that now more than ever, this is the opportunity for riders to have the choice to ride clean and stay clean if they choose to," Emma O'Reilly said in an interview to be aired Friday on CNN.
O'Reilly worked with Armstrong for two years as a U.S. Postal Service team soigneur: part masseuse, part personal assistant. She is one of 26 witnesses who testified to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency as part of its investigation into doping by Armstrong and other riders on the team.
In its report, released Wednesday, the organization tasked with keeping banned substances out of U.S. Olympic-sanctioned sports said it had uncovered "overwhelming evidence" that Armstrong had participated in and helped run the cycling team's doping program.
In fresh fallout, the International Olympic Committee said Friday that it also is examining the USADA's evidence to decide whether it should consider taking away the bronze medal Armstrong won in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, according to spokesman Andrew Mitchell.
And the RadioShack Nissan Trek cycling team announced Friday that it was parting ways with Johan Bruyneel, who managed the U.S. Postal Service and Discovery racing teams on which Armstrong raced.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency says it will release Wednesday more than 1,000 pages of evidence detailing the involvement of cyclist Lance Armstrong in what the agency calls "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
Armstrong, who won an unprecedented seven Tour de France titles, announced in August that he would no longer fight doping charges that the USADA brought against him earlier in the year. The famed cyclist's decision prompted the USADA to ban the 40-year-old athlete from competition and strip him of his wins dating to 1998, though there were questions of whether the organization had the authority to take such action.
The USADA filed doping charges against Armstrong in June. Armstrong retired from professional cycling in February 2011, though he continued to compete in triathlon events.
The USADA, a quasi-government agency recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sports in the United States, accused Armstrong of using, possessing, trafficking and giving to others performance-enhancing drugs, as well as covering up doping violations.FULL STORY
CNN has gathered plenty of news and opinion on the prospect that famed seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong may lose his titles after ending his fight against charges of illegal doping.
This post corrals much of it so you can quickly see what's out there.
Armstrong announced Thursday that he would no longer fight the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's charges, not admitting wrongdoing but rather saying he's tired of having to prove his professed innocence for years without any lasting success.
The USADA responded Friday that it was giving him a lifetime ban and disqualifying him from all events since August 1998. Still at issue is whether the USADA has the power to strip him of his victories; more about that in a bit.
A thorough look at what the USADA accuses him of can be found here. In a nutshell, though, the USADA in June charged Armstrong and several members of his former U.S. Postal Service team with illegal doping and trafficking of performance-enhancing drugs.
The USADA - responsible for monitoring drug testing and enforcing the World Anti-Doping Agency code for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic sports - alleges that Armstrong, who retired in 2011, took steroids and blood-doped during his career and says testimony from ex-teammates support the charges. This includes Floyd Landis, a former USPS rider who claimed that he saw Armstrong using blood transfusions to increase the level of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in his system as well as taking the blood-boosting drug EPO.
Armstrong has consistently denied allegations of illegal doping.
Armstrong sued the USADA to stop the investigation, arguing that it did not have the right to prosecute him. But a federal judge dismissed Armstrong's lawsuit Monday after ruling that the court did not have jurisdiction.
There's a question of whether Armstrong can be stripped of his wins, including his Tour de France titles, without other international agencies getting involved. The International Cycling Union (UCI), the cycling's world governing body, claims that it, not the USADA, has jurisdiction. That position has been recently backed by USA Cycling, the official organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
The following is Thursday's statement from Lance Armstrong, announcing he as stopping his fight against charges of illegal doping:
There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by (USADA CEO) Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense.
I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA’s motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.
If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?
From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own eight-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The international bodies governing cycling have ordered USADA to stop, have given notice that no one should participate in USADA’s improper proceedings, and have made it clear the pronouncements by USADA that it has banned people for life or stripped them of their accomplishments are made without authority. And as many others, including USADA’s own arbitrators, have found, there is nothing even remotely fair about its process. USADA has broken the law, turned its back on its own rules, and stiff-armed those who have tried to persuade USADA to honor its obligations. At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.
The bottom line is I played by the rules that were put in place by the UCI, WADA and USADA when I raced. The idea that athletes can be convicted today without positive A and B samples, under the same rules and procedures that apply to athletes with positive tests, perverts the system and creates a process where any begrudged ex-teammate can open a USADA case out of spite or for personal gain or a cheating cyclist can cut a sweetheart deal for themselves. It’s an unfair approach, applied selectively, in opposition to all the rules. It’s just not right.
USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles. I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart.
Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances. I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in under-served communities. This October, my Foundation will celebrate 15 years of service to cancer survivors and the milestone of raising nearly $500 million. We have a lot of work to do and I'm looking forward to an end to this pointless distraction. I have a responsibility to all those who have stepped forward to devote their time and energy to the cancer cause. I will not stop fighting for that mission. Going forward, I am going to devote myself to raising my five beautiful (and energetic) kids, fighting cancer, and attempting to be the fittest 40-year old on the planet.