Lance Armstrong faces £12m bill for doping lie

 

Lance Armstrong has moved a step nearer getting a bill for about $20m (£12m) for lying under oath about his use of performance-enhancing drugs when securing prize money from insurance company SCA Promotions.

A Texas judge rejected Armstrong's request to prevent an arbitration panel from reviewing the bonuses he was paid during his Tour de France winning streak.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency last year stripped him of all results dating back to 1 August 1998 – including seven successive Tour de France titles – for doping, something he belatedly confessed to on Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

The SCA case goes back to 2006. After promising Armstrong a bonus, his United States Postal Service team protected itself against that potential financial liability through a policy from SCA Promotions – the company specialises in assuming risks associated with prizes. Because a French book detailed allegations of doping against Armstrong in 2004, SCA initially balked at paying. After a protracted arbitration process, including gaining Armstrong's denial of doping under oath, the insurer ultimately agreed to the policy.

SCA Promotions is now seeking the return of $12m – Tour de France prize money of $1.5m in 2002, $3m in 2003 and $5m in 2004, plus $2.5m in costs paid in 2004 – plus interest, costs and damages.

Jeff Tillotson, an attorney for SCA Promotions, said: "It is beyond dispute that he perjured himself in our [2006] proceeding. The only thing left to resolve is in what manner should he be punished. He should not be allowed to retain the benefits he got from lying. He used his lies to obtain more than $10 million from us."

The arbitration panel will meet next month to discuss the case, which is a civil proceeding. The statute of limitations means he avoids criminal charges.

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