Lance Armstrong listens to a question from Oprah Winfrey during the taping… (George Burns / Oprah Winfrey…)
The company that paid Lance Armstrong a multimillion-dollar settlement after initially balking to pay him Tour de France bonuses amid doping allegations in 2004 announced Friday it could very well revisit that judgment.
Dallas-based SCA Promotions insured a $5-million bonus offered by Armstrong’s former sponsor if he won the Tour.
When some close to the rider disclosed suspicions that Armstrong doped to win the 2004 Tour, SCA withheld the payment until Armstrong took the company to court and collected a $7.5-million settlement that included legal fees.
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Armstrong admitted Thursday, in an interview taped Monday with Oprah Winfrey, to using banned substances, including testosterone, HGH, EPO, along with blood transfusions to win each of his record seven Tours.
“While SCA is pleased that Mr. Armstrong has finally come clean about his use of performance-enhancing drugs and shown” the “world that SCA was right all along, the fact remains that SCA suffered substantial damage as a result of Mr. Armstrong misleading the world about his use of banned substances,” SCA attorney Jeffrey Dorough wrote in a statement released to reporters.
“Therefore, we will continue to pursue our legal options for the return of the prize amounts that were paid to Mr. Armstrong under fraudulent circumstances.”
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SCA is not expected to be alone in civil litigation against Armstrong, given the cyclist’s admissions to Winfrey that he “bullied” with a “win-at-all-costs” mentality to “protect the narrative” of his story by denying that he cheated.
He once directed a derogatory term toward a masseuse who told a reporter that Armstrong backdated a prescription for cortisone to avoid a positive drug test.
Another teammate, Frankie Andreu, claimed he was denied a Tour bonus and forced off Armstrong’s team in 2000 after failing to dope.
And former three-time champion Greg LeMond believes his bicycle company sales diminished after he expressed disappointment in Armstrong’s association with now-banned doctor Michele Ferrari.
Most seriously, perhaps, is that former teammate Floyd Landis’ whistleblower suit against Armstrong, for defrauding former team sponsor the U.S. Postal Service, could be joined by the Department of Justice, exposing Armstrong to damages beyond the current settlement figure of $5 million, as reported by CBS.
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