Bas Czerwinski/Associated Press
Lance Armstrong agreed to a $5 million settlement with the United States federal government to end a lawsuit seeking up to $100 million in damages, per the Associated Press (via ESPN).
The seven-time Tour de France winner, who was stripped of his records after admitting to the use of performance-enhancing drugs, provided a statement Thursday regarding the settlement:
“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. I rode my heart out for the Postal cycling team, and was always especially proud to wear the red, white and blue eagle on my chest when competing in the Tour de France. Those memories are very real and mean a lot to me.”
He also said he is happy he “made peace with the Postal Service,” which sponsored him during his cycling career.
The original lawsuit was filed in 2010 by former teammate Floyd Landis, but the government joined by claiming Armstrong defrauded his longtime sponsor.
“Lance Armstrong and his cycling team took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service based on their contractual promise to play fair and abide by the rules—including the rules against doping,” U.S. attorney Ronald Machen Jr. said at the time, per CBS News.
Landis is eligible for up to 25 percent of the settlement as the original plaintiff.
Armstrong had denied doping during his cycling career, where he was arguably the best in the world from 1999-2005. However, he finally admitted to illegal drug use in 2013.
The 46-year-old has reportedly already paid out more than $20 million in damages since then while also losing all of his sponsors.