According to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, the U.S. Postal Service spent nearly $32 million to sponsor Lance Armstrong's cycling team from 2001 to 2004 and $40 million overall from 1994 to 2004.
ESPN, which obtained some of the data, estimates this represented "60 to 65 percent of the team's total budget."
The Postal Service recently reported losses of nearly $16 billion for the last fiscal year and Inspector General David Williams said on Tuesday that the Postal Service lost nearly $41 billion over the last five years, has reached its $15 bilion credit limit, and would need a federal bailout or it will "cease to exist."
Armstrong admitted on Monday to Oprah Winfrey that he had used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career. The first part of the interview will air on Thursday on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
Armstrong had denied for years that he had doped and testified, under oath, that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.