The United States government has joined a doping lawsuit filed by one of Lance Armstrong's former teammates alleging that the disgraced cycling champion defrauded government sponsors.
NBC News and the Wall Street Journal reported the government will add its weight to the suit and claim that Armstrong defrauded tax-payers by using performance-enhancing drugs while on the state-funded US Postal Service team.
NBC News said the Justice Department filed papers in a federal court yesterday to join the lawsuit filed by Floyd Landis, himself an admitted dope cheat who lost the 2006 Tour de France crown because of doping.
The Journal said the lawsuit was based on the False Claims Act, which allows citizens to sue for alleged fraud against the government and receive as much as a third of any money recovered.
The law would allow the plaintiffs to recover as much as triple the amount of the 1999 to 2004 sponsorship, which was worth an estimated $30 million, according to the Journal.