WASHINGTON, Feb 7, 2013 (AFP) – A US insurance firm on Thursday filed a
lawsuit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong seeking restitution of $12
million in bonus money paid to the American for his Tour de France triumphs.
The Texas-based company, SCA Promotions, wants confessed dope cheat
Armstrong to repay money the firm insured from his Tour victories in 2002,
2003 and 2004, after he was stripped of his record seven Tour titles last year.
“It is time now for Mr Armstrong to face the consequences of his actions,”
the complaint said. “This includes returning all of the funds paid to him by
SCA, which totals more than $12 million.”
“Mr. Armstrong has no legal right to retain any prize money paid to him by
SCA because he is not the official winner of any Tour de France titles,” it
The filing in a Texas state court not only could cost Armstrong financially
but could force him to testify under oath about the doping scandal that ruined
his cancer-comeback story and tainted his Livestrong Foundation charity work.
Armstrong was also banned for life when the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)
found overwhelming evidence that he was at the heart of a sophisticated doping
scheme when his US Postal Service team dominated the Tour de France.
“Lance Armstrong perpetuated what may well be the most outrageous,
cold-hearted and elaborate lie in the history of sports,” the lawsuit said.
After years of denials, Armstrong confessed last month that he had taken
performance-enhancing drugs in sweeping Tour titles from 1999-2005.
Armstrong sued SCA and won after the company delayed his 2005 bonus payment
because of reports in Europe that the American had used performance-enhancing
“We think there are several avenues for us to seek recovery on this,” SCA
attorney Jeff Dorough told AFP.
“Armstrong and his lawyers said flat-out at that time that if he was ever
stripped of the titles, they would pay the money back,” Dorough said. “We’re
just seeking to hold them to their promises.”
Armstrong attorney Mark Fabiani cited details of a 2006 settlement
agreement between SCA and Armstrong in saying that the firm had no recourse to
reclaim the bonus money.
“We are going to let the settlement agreement speak for itself. It is very
clear on this point,” Fabiani said. “The language of the agreement clearly
bars SCA from wriggling out of the agreement.”
The settlement, in which SCA agrees to pay Armstrong $7.5 million, says in
part that “no party may challenge, appeal or attempt to set aside the
Armstrong also faces a lawsuit from former US Postal teammate Floyd Landis,
who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping but says
Armstrong violated terms of a sponsorship deal with US Postal by using banned
ABC News has reported that federal agents are investigating Armstrong for
crimes including obstruction of justice, as well as witness tampering and
Asked if the US Postal Service was looking into Armstrong, USPS spokeswoman
Patricia Licata had no comment.
On Wednesday, USADA chief Travis Tygart extended a deadline that gives
Armstrong until February 20 to cooperate with anti-doping authorities by
testifying under oath about his activities to have any hope of seeing his ban
reduced so he could compete in sanctioned cycling and triathlon events.
“We have been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives
and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in
the effort to clean up the sport of cycling,” Tygart said in a statement.
“We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on
details to hopefully allow for this to happen.”