Lance Armstrong will keep £7.7m Tour de France bonuses
LANCE Armstrong will not pay back more than £7.7 million in bonus payments won as a result of his seven Tour de France victories.
The disgraced American rider’s lawyer, Tim Herman, told USA Today that the refund of bonus payments to SCA Promotions, the company that initially refused to pay out a multi-million bonus and which led to Armstrong lying under oath, was subject to a legal loophole.
The settlement terms say the case cannot be reopened, although SCA is about to file a new lawsuit to recoup £7.9 million in costs and bonus money. Herman said that the deal had always been with Armstrong’s management company, Tailwind, not Armstrong personally.
Armstrong will also fail to meet today’s deadline set by the US Anti-Doping Agency to provide information on the extent of his drug-taking during his cycling career.
He has told Usada that he cannot meet the time-frame to provide information because of "prior obligations" but insisted he would co-operate with a truth and reconciliation commission set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Armstrong has clashed with the head of Usada, Travis Tygart, who has disputed his claim he was clean during his comeback at the 2009 and 2010 Tours de France.
"Lance’s commitment to the truth and reconciliation process is firm, despite the attempt at piling on [pressure] through more appearances by Mr Tygart on 60 Minutes," Herman wrote to Usada.
Meanwhile, Dick Pound, the former head of Wada, has added to the climate of suspicion surrounding tennis by claiming he is "sure" the sport has a drug problem. In an interview with the Evening Standard, Pound said that the contrast between the players’ physiques today and those from the 1980s is itself enough to create doubt. "It used to be fun during rain delays at Wimbledon to see matches of [John] McEnroe and [Bjorn] Borg of a few years ago," Pound said. "They looked like little old men.
"Even [Ivan] Lendl ... would look like a little old man compared to these folks now. If the tennis authorities don’t believe there is EPO or HGH use they are not paying attention."
The Spanish Anti-Doping Agency is also poised to investigate claims Real Sociedad players were involved in doping. Ana Munoz, the director of agency, last night announced investigators will interview Sociedad players and officials following allegations on Monday by former president, Inaki Badiola, that he uncovered a history of widespread doping in 2008.