The bad news is that Lance Armstrong isn't as cool as we once thought he was. But the good news is that the U.S. Postal Service may have found a new stream of revenue as a result of his downfall.
Fresh on the heels of Armstrong’s confession that he used performance-enhancing drugs, news has emerged that the famous cyclist might be returning some cash to the Postal Service, which supplied millions to Armstrong’s Tour de France team, the United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, CNNMoney reports.
Of course, whatever money is returned is likely to be just a drop in the bucket for the federal agency, which lost $16 billion last year and may run out of money by October. The USPS is believed to have invested at least $30 million to sponsor Armstrong and his teammates between 2001 and 2004, according to ESPN.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first sour note between the once record-setting team and its sponsors. According to an ongoing False Claims Act lawsuit filed in 2010 by Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis, the cycling team and its financial backers -- among them noted investment banker Thomas Weisel -- defrauded the USPS with the team's use of performance enhancing drugs, the Wall Street Journal reports. Armstrong is reportedly considering testifying against the team's owners in the suit which may be joined by the Justice Department, according to the New York Times.
In a statement, USPS spokeswoman Patricia Licata said that the agency is “not in a position now to discuss any of the legal issues associated with these developments and the prior relationship between the U.S. Postal Service and Mr. Armstrong. But we will do so at an appropriate time."