The Justice Department joined a lawsuit Friday against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong that alleges the former seven-time Tour de France...

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Justice Department joins fraud lawsuit against Armstrong

The Justice Department joined a lawsuit Friday against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong that alleges the former seven-time Tour de France champion concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs and defrauded his longtime sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service.

The lawsuit alleges that riders on the postal service-sponsored team, including Armstrong, knowingly violated their postal service agreements by regularly using banned substances and methods to enhance their performance.

In recent weeks, settlement discussions had been under way between the Justice Department and Armstrong’s lawyers. A person familiar with the negotiations said the two sides are tens of millions of dollars apart on how much Armstrong should pay to settle the case.


Ravens center retires

Matt Birk’s final game was a Super Bowl victory. The veteran center of the Baltimore Ravens retired after 15 pro seasons.

Titans land safety

The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms with veteran safety George Wilson, who was cut by Buffalo.

Griffin III ‘way ahead of schedule’

Orthopedic surgeon James Andrews said Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is “way ahead of schedule” in his recovery from the reconstruction of his right knee.


Top seed falls

Top-seed Marin Cilic of Croatia lost 6-2, 6-2 to Kei Nishikori of Japan in the quarterfinals of the U.S. National Indoor Tennis Championships in Memphis, Tenn. Cilic’s loss left the tournament without any of its top four seeds in the semifinals.

Kvitova into final

Former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic defeated Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final of the Dubai Championships in United Arab Emirates. She will play Sara Errani of Italy, who defeated compatriot Roberta Vinci 6-3, 6-3.

Simon advances

Gilles Simon of France upset defending champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina 6-4, 6-3 to set up an Open 13 semifinal in Marseille, France, against countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He saved five match points in a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8) victory against Australia’s Bernard Tomic.

Ferrer moves on

Defending champion David Ferrer of Spain advanced to the semifinals of the Copa Claro clay-court tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Fabio Fognini of Italy.


Vonn improving

Lindsey Vonn’s right knee is healing quicker than her feelings over a world-championship race she says should have been called off.

The four-time overall World Cup champion remains unhappy about how she suffered a season-ending injury — two shredded ligaments and a broken bone — at the world championships in Schladming, Austria. She believes organizers should have postponed the Super-G race Feb. 5 because of deteriorating course conditions.

Vonn is on pace to return to the slopes for the beginning of the World Cup season in late November.


Lamont Peterson (31-1-1, 16 KO’s) retained his IBF junior welterweight title, stopping Kendall Holt in the eighth round in Washington, D.C.

• Former major-league manager Bobby Valentine was hired as athletic director for Sacred Heart University, a Division I program in Fairfield, Conn., with 31 sports. Valentine, 62, grew up in Stamford, about 20 miles away. It will be Valentine’s first collegiate administrative job.

• Don Shula, the NFL’s career leader in coaching victories, will be honored with the Lamar Hunt Award given annually to an individual who helped to shape professional football.

Simon Yates of Great Britain won the last sprint to take the men’s points race at the track cycling world championships in Minsk, Belarus. Compatriot Jason Kenny took gold in the men’s keirin final. Katarzyna Pawlowska of Poland retained her title in the women’s scratch race.

Seattle Times news services