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Lance Armstrong cuts a deal in USPS lawsuit after years of wrangling

Lance Armstrong settled a long-fought lawsuit from the federal government on Thursday. It was reportedly the last remaining suit the cyclist faced stemming from his Tour de France doping scandal. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Former cyclist Lance Armstrong settled a $100 million lawsuit against him by the federal government for $5 million on Thursday.

Agreement in the case comes after years of back-and-forth over whether or not Armstrong had defrauded American taxpayers by competing under the influence of performance-enhancing drugs — while he and his team received $32.3 million in endorsements from the United States Postal Service between 2000 and 2004.

May 7 is when the civil case was set to go to trial.

The USPS asked for the $100 million amount claiming that they were owed not only the funds paid out by the government entity, but damages due to the tarnishing of their brand. Armstrong's attorneys countered that the USPS got the better end of the deal, with the Postal Service enjoying more than $100 million in benefits such as marketing during their time endorsing Armstrong.

Lead attorney for Armstrong, Elliot Peters, said, "We've had exactly the same view of this case forever, which was that it was a bogus case because the Postal Service was never harmed."

In 2012, the US Anti-Doping Agency charged Armstrong with cheating. He chose not to fight the charges, and was slapped with a lifetime ban from competition.

Following persistent accusations that the seven-time Tour de France winner had used sophisticated doping methods to maintain an edge over his competition, Armstrong finally admitted to Oprah Winfrey in 2013 that he used performance-enhancing drugs for years. He had denied the claims vehemently up until that point.

After the confession, Armstrong was stripped of his titles, and lost lucrative endorsements from the likes of Oakley, Nike, and Anheuser-Busch.

Armstrong's harrowing battle with cancer during the late nineties prompted him to found the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997, a non-profit organization that works to provide services and improve the lives of affected by cancer.

But a USADA report was released in 2012 that included damning statements from Armstrong's former cycling teammates, and he stepped down from the board of his self-named charity the same year. The organization is now known as the Livestrong foundation.

Over the years, Armstrong has fought other legal battles — including one from the Sunday Times of London, who sought reparations after previously losing a $1 million libel suit to the athlete for reporting on doping allegations against him that would later be proven valid.

As for Armstrong, he views today's settlement with a sense of closure, saying: "I am glad to resolve this case and move forward with my life. 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."

One last thing…
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