WASHINGTON, Oct 31, 2012 (AFP) – Dallas insurance company SCA Promotions
confirmed on Wednesday that it has sent Lance Armstrong a letter demanding the
return of $12 million in bonuses and warned that it might take legal action.
SCA attorney Jeff Dorough said the letter not only seeks back the bonus
money but states that it might go to court for legal sanctions and penalties
against the disgraced US cyclist, who was stripped of seven Tour de France
titles for doping.
The potential legal action could come in connection with false testimony
given by Armstrong during an arbitration hearing in 2005-2006.
Dorough confirmed that SCA was seeking $7.5 million paid out to Armstrong
after a 2006 arbitration proceeding, which included a $5 million bonus as well
as legal fees and interest.
“Mr. Armstrong is no longer the official winner of any Tour de France races
and as a result it is inappropriate and improper for him to retain any bonus
payments made by SCA,” Dorough said.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) backed a US Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) decision to effectively erase Armstrong’s cycling record, including
the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005, after a lengthy
USADA released a detailed account of the evidence it collected when it
presented UCI with a 200-page report that put Armstrong at the heart of the
biggest doping program in the history of sport.
During Armstrong’s era of dominance, US Postal Service team parent company
Tailwind Sports took out a policy with SCA, paying a premium to cover bonuses
paid to Armstrong for his Tour de France victories.
When SCA withheld a $5 million bonus due after Armstrong’s sixth Tour de
France win in 2004 because of doping allegations circulating in Europe,
Armstrong took them to court.
He won the case because the original contract between SCA and Tailwind
Sports had no stipulations about doping.
Armstrong meanwhile posted his first Twitter message since stepping down as
chairman of the Livestrong Foundation cancer charity he created in 1997,
saying earlier this week that he was “Alive and well in Hawaii.”