U.S. Government Sues Lance Armstrong, Seeks $40 Million in Damages

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The U.S. government is suing Lance Armstrong for $40 million.

The banned cyclist, 41, is accused of violating his contract with his team and is said to have been "unjustly enriched" while cheating to win the Tour de France.

Lance Armstrong Signs

That team? The U.S. Postal Service, which "paid about $40 million to sponsor the USPS racing team from 1998 to 2004," court documents said.

Armstrong admitted to doping during all of his seven Tour wins.

The lawsuit also names former U.S. Postal Service team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as co-defendants.

Lance ended years of denial in a January interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he described doping as part of the process of winning the Tour.

The U.S. government announced in February it would join the 2010 lawsuit filed by ex-USPS rider Floyd Landis, who himself admitted using drugs.

Tuesday was the deadline for the DOJ to file its complaint.

According to the suit, the USPS paid about $40 million to be the title sponsor of Lance Armstrong's teams for six of his Tour de France victories.

It added that Armstrong's salary during that time, excluding bonuses, was $17.9 million - which the government wants to recoup on top of sponsorship funds.

"Defendants were unjustly enriched to the extent of the payments and other benefits they received from the USPS, either directly or indirectly," the complaint said.

The government also asked for a jury trial.

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