Lance Armstrong has reached a US$5 million settlement with the federal government in a whistleblower lawsuit that could have sought US$100 million in damages from the cyclist who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France victories after admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs throughout much of his career.

The deal announced today came as the two sides prepared for a trial that was scheduled to start May 7 in Washington.

Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis filed the original lawsuit in 2010 and is eligible for up to 25 percent of the settlement.

Seeking millions spent sponsoring Armstrong's powerhouse teams, the government joined the lawsuit against Armstrong in 2013 after his televised confession to using steroids and other drugs and methods.

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Armstrong had already retired, but the confession shattered the legacy of one of the most popular sports figures in the world.

-AP