AP source: Gov't likely to join Armstrong case

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- An attorney familiar with cyclist Lance Armstrong's legal problems says the Justice Department is highly likely to join a whistleblower lawsuit filed against Armstrong by former teammate Floyd Landis.

The False Claims Act lawsuit could result in Armstrong paying a substantial amount of money to the U.S. government. The deadline for the department to join the case is Thursday, though the department could seek an extension if necessary.

According to the attorney, who works outside the government, the lawsuit alleges that Armstrong defrauded the U.S. government based on his years of denying use of performance-enhancing drugs. The U.S. Postal Service was a longtime sponsor of Armstrong's racing career.

The attorney spoke on condition of anonymity because the source was not authorized to speak on the record about the matter.