The U.S. Justice Department has joined a lawsuit against American cyclist Lance Armstrong and his teammates to recover tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship money.
In a statement Friday, the Justice Department said the lawsuit alleges that Armstrong and other bikers on the U.S. Postal Service-sponsored team violated an agreement by "regularly employing banned substances and methods to enhance their performance."
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald Machen, said Armstrong and his team took more than $30 million from the U.S. Postal Service. He said the lawsuit is designed to help the Postal Service recoup the money the team "illegitimately procured" over "years of broken promises."
The Justice Department joined the whistleblower lawsuit that was filed by one of Armstrong's former teammates, Floyd Landis, who was on the USPS team from 2002 to 2004.
The 41-year-old Armstrong vehemently denied for years that he used banned drugs, but acknowledged this year in an interview with U.S. television personality Oprah Winfrey that he did use banned substances.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency uncovered evidence last year that Armstrong did cheat. He was stripped of his seven Tour de France wins and has been banned from competitive cycling for life.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.