Saturday 24 March 2018

Poll: Should punters be offered refund after Lance Armstrong withdrawal from One Zero Conference?

Lance Armstrong Picture: AFP/Getty
Lance Armstrong Picture: AFP/Getty

David Smith

The organisers of the One Zero Sport and Tech Conference in Dublin have insisted that there will be no refunds after Lance Armstrong pulled out last night.

Armstrong cited his upcoming federal court case as his reason for withdrawing from the conference, despite telling Ger Gilroy on Newstalk last month that the court case wouldn't impact his appearance.

Richard Barrett, one of the conference's organisers, appeared on Off The Ball last night, and defended the decision not to refund tickets.

"We sold tickets on the basis that Glastonbury is about more than Beyonce. One Zero conference is not about Lance... There are no refunds. This conference is about more than Lance," Barrett said.

However, there has been widespread criticism of the organisers' stance on this as Armstrong was to be their main speaker and much of the build up to the event was based around his appearance.

The organisers claim that there are 37 other speakers and the event was sold as a whole package.

Tickets for the event ranged between €175 all the way up to €900 for a VIP pass.

Off The Ball presenter Gilroy appeared on the Pat Kenny Show this morning alongside Rob Hartnett, who is one of the co-founders of the event.

Hartnett confirmed that the organisers will be seeking reimbursement from Armstrong after the controversial cyclist failed to meet his contractual obligations.

"So you'll be getting a refund, but the attendees of the conference can't get a refund?" Gilroy asked.

"We don't know," Hartnett responded. "This all happened 24 hours ago. So we'll be with lawyers until after the event."

However, Gilroy, who is moderating a discussion at the conference himself, did not accept Hartnett's answer.

"The concept of a refund is established," he argued. "You've established the concept of a refund for you guys, just not for the people who have bought tickets."

Hartnett replied that he didn't know, as he wasn't a lawyer.

Gilroy was also sceptical of Armstrong's claims that he was forced to withdraw due to his upcoming federal case.

"If something new happened in the last week... then that's an unbelievable situation," he said.

Should punters be offered a refund? You have your say.

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