USPS Pro Cycling Team and Defrauding the Government

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The government is seeking to build a case against cyclist Lance Armstrong and/or his teammates for defrauding the U.S. government should they be found guilty of violating anti-doping rules.

Sponsors of the United States Postal Service cycling team included a “morals turpitude and drug clause” in contracts that called for severe penalties for cyclists who violated certain rules. Since the U.S. Postal Service is a government agency, anyone who defrauded the government by using anabolic steroids, erythropoeitin (EPO), or other banned substances or methods such as blood doping, could face serious criminal penalties.

“The Company represents that each rider on the Team has a morals turpitude and drug clause that allows the Company to suspend or terminate the rider for cause which shall include items such as (1) conviction of a felony; (2) acts that require the Team to suspend or terminate the rider under the applicable rules of the Union Cycliste Internationale, the Federation Interationale du Cyclisme Professionel; the United States Professional Cycling Federation, Inc; the International Olympic Committee; the International Amateur Cycling Federation; the United States Cycling Federation and all other applicable governing organizations; (3) failure to pass drug or medical tests; (4) inappropriate drug conduct prejudicial to the Team, or the Postal Service, which is in violation of the Team rules or commonly accepted standards of morality; and (5) gross neglect of the rider’s duty.”

The government has had very little success prosecuting any superstar athletes under steroid laws and has been forced to use other means, such as perjury laws, to indict them. The federal investigation into cycling’s superstars, such as Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong, is evaluating the possibility of prosecuting athletes for fraud if it can be proven that they used performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).

The results of the government investigation and the decision to prosecute athletes for fraud is expected to come some time this year.

United States Postal Service Pro Cycling Team

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