Promoter demands refund from Armstrong
A Dallas promotions company that paid Lance Armstrong more than US$7 million in bonuses for winning the Tour de France is demanding he return the money.
A spokesman for SCA Promotions said on Friday the company will send Armstrong a demand letter on Monday now that Armstrong’ seven Tour de France titles have been revoked. The company paid Armstrong about US$7 million for winning his sixth tour in 2004 and reportedly paid up to US$12 million total.
The US Anti-Doping Agency recently reported extensive evidence that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his tour victories. The International Cycling Union, the sport’s governing body, on Monday accepted sanctions that included banning Armstrong from the sport for life and stripping him of his tour wins.
Armstrong denies doping but has not commented on the USADA report.
The company had warned Armstrong that it would seek return of the money if his victories were officially wiped out.
Armstrong’s attorneys have said he has no intention of paying. They note that SCA entered a voluntary settlement to pay Armstrong, which included a no appeal clause. Armstrong’s attorneys say Texas law won’t allow SCA to try to reopen a voluntary settlement.
In a letter to SCA in June, Armstrong attorney Tim Herman wrote, “When SCA decided to settle the case, it settled the entire matter forever. No backs. No re-dos. No do-overs. SCA knowingly and independently waived any right to make further claims to any of the money it paid.”
The company tried in 2005 to not pay Armstrong because of allegations in doping. The arbitration case included some of the original sworn witness testimony against Armstrong, including claims by Betsy Andreu, the wife of former Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu, that Armstrong admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs in a conversation with doctors while undergoing cancer treatment in 1996.
Earlier on Friday, the UCI said Armstrong should return about US$4 million in prize money.
Armstrong recently lost most of his personal endorsement deals in the wake of the USADA report. He also has stepped down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997.