"As the federal government’s $100m lawsuit against the disgraced cyclist prepares to go to trial, it’s worth asking: what exactly is the point here?" writes Beau Dure with The Guardian. Read the complete report here, and an excerpt below.
The lawsuit features lawyers scrambling to keep anyone from saying in court all the things the rest of us already know. Armstrong’s team wants to keep out the 2012 US Anti-Doping Agency report detailing all his misdeeds, along with testimony from LeMond and Betsy Andreu. The other side doesn’t want the court to hear much about Landis losing his own Tour de France win in 2006 after flunking a drug test or that the US Postal Service earned more than $100m in global exposure by sponsoring Armstrong’s team, according to their own research.
Armstrong’s lawyers have been hammering the last point, noting that the powers that be were well aware of doping problems in cycling and merrily went along for the ride anyway.
“Although the government now pretends to be aggrieved by these allegations, its actions at the time are far more telling: Did it immediately fire the Postal Service Team?” Armstrong’s lawyers wrote in July 2013. “Did it suspend the team pending an investigation? Did it refer the matter to its phalanx of lawyers and investigators at the Department of Justice for review? It did not...
The fact that the government is seeking damages from a situation in which, by all available accounting, they profited isn’t just ironic. It may hurt the case against Armstrong. US District Judge Christopher Cooper – perhaps a little more sympathetic to Armstrong than was Robert Wilkins, who presided over the case before his elevation to the Court of Appeals – seems skeptical that the government is entitled to everything it’s asking.