Wednesday 22 November 2017

Shamed Lance Armstrong told to hand back $10m bonuses

New blow to disgraced Olympic cycling champion Lance Armstrong
New blow to disgraced Olympic cycling champion Lance Armstrong

Tom Cary

Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10m (€8m) to SCA Promotions, the Dallas-based company that paid him around $12m in bonuses during his career.

The dispute with SCA dates back to 2005, when the firm withheld bonuses due to concerns that the Texan had cheated. SCA eventually reached an out-of-court settlement with Armstrong, paying him $9.5m plus $2.5m in costs. After Armstrong's cheating was exposed, SCA sued to get its money back. The company has a separate lawsuit pending against Armstrong and his agent Bill Stapleton, in Dallas.

The arbitrators' written ruling has found that Armstrong engaged in "an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy". That panel also found that he had "used perjury and other wrongful conduct to secure millions of dollars of benefits" from SCA Promotions. Armstrong has seen a succession of sponsors, including Trek, Oakley and Nike terminate their contracts.

There is also a potentially extremely costly federal case pending which was initially brought by the former US Postal rider Floyd Landis and which has been joined by the US Department of Justice.

Last month, Armstrong told the BBC that he had been made a scapegoat for a generation of dopers and that he should have his lifetime ban reduced.

This could yet be recommended by cycling's independent commission, which has been investigating the sport's doping past and is due to deliver its report in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, Alberto Contador says he could retire from professional cycling in 2016. The Spaniard (32) was stripped of a third title in 2010 for doping offences.

"After 2016 what I can say for now is that I don't see myself racing," the two-time Tour de France winner told a press conference. "I'd like to retire on top of a podium. This year I will definitely be competing and also next year."

And Laura Trott says she is "pretty confident" of wresting back her world omnium title from the American Sarah Hammer and taking double gold at the UCI World Track Cycling Championships in Paris this week.

Trott is part of GB's all-conquering women's pursuit team, which has gone unbeaten for more than four years. She goes again in the omnium this weekend.

A change to the format of the six-discipline event, with greater emphasis placed on the points race which has replaced the 500m time trial as the final discipline, has given her "a lot of confidence". (© Daily Telegraph London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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