The Associated Press reports that a study by the United States Postal Service shows the agency – funded by the US tax-payer – received $103.6m in domestic value from sponsoring Lance Armstrong’s US Postal team, 2001-4.
ESPN revealed that Armstrong’s team was funded to the tune of $32m during the same period.
Replying to a sports-sponsorship critic, earlier this morning Armstrong tweeted: "[US Postal Service] got 103 million in return. 300%! We should all be so lucky to be victimized like that. Sign me up!"
In a statement to The Associated Press, Armstrong spokesman Mark Fabiani said: "Over the years, many different sponsors have seen – and continue to see – the benefits of associating with Lance and his cycling teams."
Journalists are poring over these dated sponsorship amounts because there’s now a federal investigation into doping in professional cycling fuelled by claims by Floyd Landis that Armstrong doped, a claim denied by Armstrong.
As the US Postal Service is a public body its finances are minutely scrutinised and if any investigation proved doping was being carried out using money from the US taxpayer those implicated could be subject to criminal investigation.