Money trouble: Other shoe drops for Lance Armstrong
A former promoter is suing the disgraced cyclist, demanding he pay back $12 million in prize money.
It must be tough to be one of Lance Armstrong's former promoters. After all, many paid millions to the one-time Tour de France winner, only to have their investments look foolish after he was stripped of his record seven titles for doping.
But one of them isn't moving on quietly. SCA Promotions has sued Armstrong, demanding the return of $12 million in prize money it paid him after winning the 2002, 2003 and 2004 races.
SCA, a promotional marketing company, makes its outrage felt in its lawsuit.
"By now, everyone knows that Lance Armstrong perpetuated what may well be the most outrageous, cold-hearted and elaborate lie in the history of sports," the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit risks further damage to Armstrong's reputation. If he chooses to fight -- and resists paying back the money -- he might turn off the fans he still has. The case could force Armstrong to go back under oath and face more questions about doping, notes USA Today.
It's not as if Armstrong's reputation hasn't already taken quite a beating.
He admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, a confession that opened him up to legal challenges and negotiations with prior supporters. Many viewers felt Armstrong came off as unlikable, a feeling that was aided by his own admission of bullying during during his cycling career.
His interview with Winfrey is cited in SCA's lawsuit, which alleges that the cyclist's statements last month were a "stunning admission of perjury."
In 2004, SCA Promotions had withheld a bonus because of doping allegations, but in sworn testimony in 2005, Armstrong vehemently denied the accusations. SCA eventually gave him a settlement of $7.5 million because -- at the time -- he was the official 2004 winner.
"While he lied to everyone, Lance Armstrong lied to SCA in shocking fashion: while testifying under oath in a legal proceeding," the lawsuit says. (Note: emphasis is in the lawsuit.)
It's not clear whether Armstrong will return the money. According to USA Today, Armstrong's attorney, Tim Herman, last week said the cyclist wasn't planning on paying back the money. The reason? He said there's no precedent for an athlete to return earnings after even being found guilty of wrongdoing.
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Martha Stewart went to jail for lying to the feds, not for insider trading. Seems like we're at the same junction again.
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