Armstrong seeks reconciliation with former teammate Landis

Lance Armstrong, left, and Floyd Landis were teammates but could be on the opposite ends of a federal lawsuit.
  • Landis has filed a lawsuit against Armstrong.
  • Both cyclists were stripped of Tour de France titles.
  • Lance Armstrong is seeking a reconciliation with longtime nemesis Floyd Landis as part of his overall strategy to make a confession about doping, 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, Armstrong’s former cycling teammate, has been hostile to Armstrong because of his previous attacks against him. Landis was among the first to accuse Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs, prompting Armstrong and his attorneys to fire back at him and portray him as a fraud.

    If the two reconciled, Landis might drop a federal whistleblower lawsuit he filed against Armstrong under the False Claims Act – a suit the federal government has considered joining. At issue is whether Armstrong and others defrauded the U.S. Postal Service of around $30 million when it sponsored his team.

    But if Landis rebuffs Armstrong and continues the suit, Armstrong probably would defend himself by arguing that the USPS did not suffer damages from his doping and instead profited from his performance. Landis didn’t return a message seeking comment. Armstrong’s attorneys have declined comment.

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    The Landis issue is one of several legal and personal considerations Armstrong weighed in his decision to make an admission about performance-enhancing drugs after years of denials, the people said. He plans to make the admission in an interview taping Monday with Oprah Winfrey at his home in Austin, Texas. The show will air Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

    Both Landis and Armstrong have been stripped of their Tour de France titles because of doping charges. Landis won the Tour de France in 2006, Armstrong from 1999 to 2005.

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