Lance Armstrong reached a $5 million settlement with the federal government on Thursday, the Associated Press reported, putting an end to a lawsuit that could have sought $100 million in damages from the cyclist.
The lawsuit was first filed by Armstrong’s former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis — who is eligible for up to 25 percent of the settlement — in 2010. The United States government joined the lawsuit in 2013, after he confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs while winning a record seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 in a live television interview. It was Landis’ testimony, along with others from the team, that helped the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency uncover Armstrong’s drug use in 2012.
The U.S. Postal Service sponsored Armstrong’s team when he won his first Tour de France title in 1999, and re-signed for another five years to sponsor the team throughout the historic run.
See Armstrong through his career:
Lance Armstrong through the years
Lance Armstrong through the years
Lance Armstrong of USA raises his arms as he crosses as a winner the finish line of the 8th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Chalons-sur-Marne and Verdun July 11
Former cycling champion Lance Armstrong of the United States addresses a news conference, January 10, marking his return to heading the "Cofidis" professional cycling team. Armstrong took part in his first training session January 10 since undergoing treatment for cancer recently.
Cyclist Lance Armstrong talks to reporters at a news conference in New York, October 16, where it was announced that he will join the U.S. Postal Service pro-cycling team. Armstrong left the sport last October when he was diagnosed with cancer. Armstrong has completed chemotherapy and has fully recovered.
Lance Armstrong of the USA raises his arms on podium after the Tour de France's prologue, a 6.8 km individual time trial at Puy du Fou, western France July 3. Armstrong won the prologue to capture the yellow jersey ahead of Swiss rider Alex Zulle and Abraham Olano of Spain who took the third place.
Lance Armstrong of the USA takes a break during the warm up of the 8th stage of the Tour de France cycling race July 11, a 56.5 kms individual time trial around Metz northern France. Armstrong clocked the best time and regained the yellow jersey of overall leader at an impressive speed of nearly 50 kph.
Lance Armstrong of the USA rides in the 192km 16th stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Lannemezan to Pau, southwestern France July 21. [David Etxebarria of Spain won the stage. Armstrong retained his yellow jersey of leader in the overall standings].
U.S. President Bill Clinton receives a yellow leader's jersey from Lance Armstrong, the 1999 winner of the Tour de France, in the Rose Garden of the White House August 10. Armstrong also presented the president with a replica of the bike he used in winning the race.
US Lance Armstrong celebrates his leader's yellow jersey following the 205kms 10th stage of the Tour de France cycling race from Dax to Lourdes-Hautacam in the Pyrenees July 10. [Spanish Javier Otxoa won the stage]
Tour de France cycling race winner Lance Armstrong of the USA celebrates his victory with his 9 month-old son Luke on the podium of the 138kms 21th last stage of the three week race which took place within the city of Paris July 23.
US POSTAL SERVICE TEAM RIDER LANCE ARMSTRONG OF THE USA ON HIS WAY TO
WIN THE 61KM TIME TRIAL 18TH STAGE OF THE TOUR DE FRANCE CYCLING RACE.
US Postal Service team rider Lance Armstrong of the USA in action on
his way to win the 61km individual time trial 18th stage of the Tour de
France cycling race from Montlucon to Saint-Amand-Montrond July 27,
2001. Armstrong of the USA retains the yellow jersey of overall leader.
Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong waves as he concludes his remarks during a ceremony for Armstrong outside the main branch of the U.S. Post Office in New York City, August 2, 2001. Armstrong, a member of the U.S. Postal Service Team, won his third consecutive Tour de France on July 29, 2001.
Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong of the USA rides with a U.S. flag as he celebrates his victory on the Champs Elysees along with his team members July 23. Armstrong won his second consecutive Tour de France. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini PP03050079 PP05040148 JNA/
US Postal team rider Lance Armstrong of the USA rides to take the third
place in the 49km individual time-trial nineteenth stage of the Tour de
France cycling race between Pornic and Nantes July 26, 2003. Cofidis
team rider David Millard of Britain won the stage and Armstrong
retained the overall race leader's yellow jersey. REUTERS/Eric
US Postal rider Lance Armstrong of the United States raises his arms as he crosses the finish line to win the 205.5 km long 13th stage of the Tour de France from Lannemezan to Plateu de Beille, France, July 17, 2004. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay LE/AA
Six-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong announces his retirement as Discovery team director Johan Bruyneel (L) listens during a press conference prior to the start of the Tour de Georgia in Augusta, Georgia, April 18, 2005. Armstrong,who will retire after this year's Tour de France, stated that "Ultimately, athletes have to retire....my time has come." REUTERS/Tami Chappell TLC
Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong of the U.S. arrives for a news conference in Tenerife, Spain's Canary Islands, December 4, 2008. Astana team mates Armstrong and Alberto Contador rode together on Wednesday for the first time since Armstrong announced his comeback from retirement. REUTERS/Santiago Ferrero (SPAIN)
Astana rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. waits for the start of the 262-km tenth stage of the Giro d'Italia from Cuneo to Pinerolo, May 19, 2009. Italy's Danilo Di Luca won the stage and retained the leader's pink jersey. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini (ITALY SPORT CYCLING IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Astana rider Lance Armstrong of the U.S. holds his cap while on the podium after the final 21st stage of the 96th Tour de France cycling race between Montereau-Fault-Yonne and Paris July 26, 2009. REUTERS/Bogdan Cristel (FRANCE SPORT CYCLING IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Seven times Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong reacts during a question and answer session at the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Summit in Dublin August 24, 2009. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton (IRELAND SPORT CYCLING HEALTH IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Cyclist Lance Armstrong of the U.S. speaks to journalists as he leaves his bus before taking part in Geoff Thomas's 'One Day Ahead' charity event during a stage of the 102nd Tour de France cycling race from Muret to Rodez, France, July 16, 2015. Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong made a low key return to the Tour de France on Thursday when the American cancer survivor set off on a charity ride that follows the route of this year's race. REUTERS/Fred Lancelot
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - DECEMBER 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Lance Armstrong cycles with local cyclists during a ride in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges on December 19, 2016 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
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“While I believe that their lawsuit against me was meritless and unfair, and while I am spending a lot of money to resolve it, I have since 2013 tried to take full responsibility for my mistakes and inappropriate conduct, and make amends wherever possible,” Armstrong told the AP. “I rode my heart out for the Postal cycling team, and was always especially proud to wear the red, white and blue eagle on my chest when competing in the Tour de France. Those memories are very real and mean a lot to me.”
Armstrong had claimed he didn’t owe the Postal Service anything because the agency made far more off the sponsorship than it paid; Armstrong’s lawyers introduced internal studies for the agency that calculated benefits in media exposure topping $100 million. The government countered that Armstrong had been “unjustly enriched” through the sponsorship and that the negative fallout from the doping scandal tainted the agency’s reputation.
The lawsuit would have been the biggest against Armstrong, had it gone forward. The 46-year-old lost most of his major sponsors since admitting to his drug use, and has been forced to pay more than $20 million in combined damages.
Now, though, Armstrong said that he’s happy to have “made peace” with the government, and is just ready to finally move on after closing what is likely his last major legal issue spawning from his cycling downfall.
“I am glad to resolve this case and move forward with my life,” Armstrong said. “I’m looking forward to devoting myself to the many great things in my life — my five kids, my wife, my podcast, several exciting writing and film projects, my work as a cancer survivor, and my passion for sports and competition. There is a lot to look forward to.”