Max Air filter

Armstrong’s attorneys scoff at that notion. They have compiled evidence that shows the USPS sponsorship was a “massive success” and earned more than $140 million. They say the government’s damages are not measured by the amount it paid out but by the amount paid minus the value of goods or services it received. They say the government will be unable to prove damages by this measure.“The government argues that, even though the USPS sponsorship of the cycling team ended in 2004, it was damaged in 2013 when Armstrong admitted to using performance enhancing drugs,” Armstrong’s attorneys wrote. “Documents and testimony from Nike regarding the benefits it received during its sponsorship of the cycling team and Armstrong, and the damage (or lack thereof) it suffered when Armstrong admitted to doping in 2013, is relevant the government’s theory of damage.”

The government doesn’t see it that way, however. The government also is pursuing Armstrong on the basis of reverse false claims, which impose liability on those who make false statements to conceal an obligation to pay back money they shouldn’t have received from the government.“Evidence that Armstrong falsely denied and concealed his doping from sponsors, including Nike, after 2004 … further demonstrates the he knew his doping was material to sponsors, and supports the reverse false claims allegations in this case,” government attorneys wrote.Under this argument, Armstrong had an obligation to pay back the money he received from the USPS sponsorship because he was breaching the team’s sponsorship contract.“The government takes the approach that there are special ethical consideration when one does business with the government,” Anikeeff told USA TODAY Sports. “Armstrong may want to press the point that this was a just a commercial publicity deal just like it was with Nike, and that having gotten the benefit of the deal, then the government really has no basis to complain that it was damaged years after the fact.”