Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Should Lance Armstrong Give the Postal Service Its Money Back?

Lance Armstrong won his sixth Tour de France title in 2004. Lance Armstrong won his sixth Tour de France title in 2004. Peter Dejong/AP file photo

Now that Lance Armstrong is coming clean to Oprah Winfrey about doping during his years as a world-class cyclist, another issue is rising to the forefront: Should he have to pay back the money the U.S. Postal Service paid to sponsor his cycling team -- along with damages?

The Justice Department has until tomorrow to decide whether to join a whistleblower lawsuit contending that Armstrong violated the terms of the sponsorship agreement, the ABA Journal notes. Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis filed the suit. (Landis himself was stripped of a Tour de France title after having been found guilty of doping.)

Armstrong's attorneys have been negotiating with Justice lawyers over the suit, the Washington Post reports. It's a non-trivial discussion, because Armstrong's team received as much as $35 million in sponsorship money from the Postal Service, and if he loses the legal challenge, he could be required to pay back the money with triple damages.

Armstrong has reportedly offered to repay a portion of the funds, but his lawyers have argued that the Postal Service's contract was with the team as a whole, and not the cyclist himself. And they've added another twist: They say that far from being damaged by an association with Armstrong, the Postal Service actually benefited from it, to the tune of millions of dollars worth of exposure for its brand. 

At this point, that's certainly not the kind of brand association the Postal Service needs or wants. It has got enough PR problems of its own these days. 

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.