Tegenslag voor Armstrong in klokkenluiderszaak

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NOS   Wielrennen   0

Een juridische tegenslag voor Lance Armstrong. Een federale rechter heeft besloten dat de klokkenluiderszaak, aangespannen door oud-ploeggenoot Floyd Landis, door kan gaan. Armstrong loopt nu nog steeds het risico dat hij 100 miljoen dollar (95 miljoen euro) moet betalen aan de Amerikaanse overheid. 

Wat is er aan de hand? 

In 2010 startte Floyd Landis een rechtszaak tegen Lance Armstrong. Amerikaanse burgers kunnen namens de Amerikaanse overheid iemand aanklagen als zij denken dat er is gefraudeerd met overheidsgeld. US Postal, van 2000 tot 2004 de werkgever van Armstrong, is een overheidsinstelling. Landis vindt dat er vanwege het dopinggebruik onder leiding van Armstrong misbruik is gemaakt van 32,3 miljoen dollar (29 miljoen euro) gemeenschapsgeld. 

Na de dopingbekentenis van Armstrong bij Oprah in 2013 voegde de Amerikaanse overheid zich bij Landis. Volgens de wetten van de False Claims Act, kan de boete oplopen tot drie keer het gefraudeerde bedrag: drie keer 32,3 miljoen is bijna 100 miljoen dollar. Omdat Landis de zaak aanhangig maakte, kan hij daarvan 25 tot 30 procent krijgen. 

Bezwaar van Armstrong

De advocaten van Armstrong hadden bezwaar gemaakt. Zij vonden de claim onterecht omdat US Postal vanwege alle publiciteit rondom de Tour-successen veel meer verdiend zou hebben dan de 32,3 miljoen dollar die ze als sponsorgeld in de ploeg hebben gestoken.

Door dat bezwaar heeft een federale rechter nu een streep gezet. De zaak Landis en de Amerikaanse overheid tegen Armstrong gaat nu dus ‘gewoon’ door. 

Platzak

In het verleden heeft Armstrong meerdere malen aangegeven dit bedrag niet te kunnen betalen. “Ik ben platzak”, zei hij. 

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