The settlement stems from a federal False Claims Act lawsuit filed eight years ago by former cycling teammate Floyd Landis. The seven-time Tour de France winner (those victories were officially stripped by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in 2012) avoided having to pay the massive sum for the lawsuit that began way back in 2010. Since 2013, the government has been involved, but Armstrong's legal team has been trying to get the case thrown out just as long. Despite the significantly lower settlement, $5 million is still nothing to scoff at. The initial $100 million lawsuit was an effort by USPS to recoup the sponsorship money it had spent on the team during Armstrong's remarkable run of victories atop the cycling world.
"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 Associated Press.
Landis' lawsuit claimed that while the two rode for the USPS cycling team, Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs, forced him and his other teammates to participate in taking PEDs with him, and then lied about doing so. Therefore, he was accused of defrauding USPS, the team's sponsor. The case seemed to have no legs until USADA brought forth evidence that proved Landis' claims truthful. As the original filer of the lawsuit, Landis is set to receive $1.1 million of the $5 million total, as well as $1.65 million in legal fees paid off by Armstrong.
Armstrong's PED use tarnished the storied career of the cyclist. Before admitting his use of PEDs during an interview with Oprah in 2013, Armstrong was most known for overcoming a battle with testicular cancer to go on to dominate the cycling world for the better part of the late '90s and early 2000s. His struggle would also lead to the birth of the Livestrong Foundation, a non-profit that supported those affected by cancer.
"I am glad to resolve this case and move forward with my life," Armstrong said in a press release. "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."