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Justice considers joining Armstrong suit

6:00 AM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
Lance Armstrong has not discussed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's evidence against him, but has stayed active in events for Livestrong. Here he is shown speaking over the weekend in Austin, Texas, at the 15th anniversary celebration of the cancer-fighting charity he founded.(Photo: Cooper Neill, Getty Images)
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As Lance Armstrong admits to doping during his famed cycling career, Justice Department officials are recommending that the agency join a federal whistleblower lawsuit against Armstrong, a federal law enforcement official briefed on the matter but not authorized to speak told USA TODAY Sports.

The case was initiated by former cyclist and Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis under the False Claims Act. At issue is whether Armstrong and others defrauded the U.S. Postal Service of around $30 million when it sponsored his team.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the Justice Department's recommendation.

Armstrong has sought a reconciliation with Landis as part of his overall strategy in confessing to using performance-enhancing drugs, two people with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.

So far, the reconciliation attempt has not been successful. Landis has been hostile to Armstrong because of his former teammate's previous attacks against him. Landis was among the first to accuse Armstrong of doping, prompting Armstrong and his attorneys to fire back and portray him as a fraud.

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year, confessed to Oprah Winfrey on Monday that he doped during his career, one of the people said.

Landis has previously admitted to doping and lost his 2006 Tour de France title.

Brent Schrotenboer, Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY Sports

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