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Armstrong Faces $12m Demand This Week

Jan 20, 2013  - Craig Lord

Lance Armstrong faces a tough week ahead after his confession on Oprah: the price of cheating and lying for a decade and more may start to take on a new dimension if, as reported, he is sued for for $12 million by SCA Promotions, the insurer who covered the bonuses paid to the US cyclist for three of the seven times he crossed the line ahead of rivals in a doping soaked Tour de France.

Texan company SCA Promotions has strong motivation for coming back at Armstrong: the firm lost an arbitration hearing against him after they refused to honour a $5 million bonus for Armstrong's sixth Tour win in 2004 because it claimed Armstrong was not a clean rider. Turned out that SCA, along with others, was right.

"We will likely file that lawsuit as soon as next week unless we get a satisfactory response from Armstrong's camp," SCA lawyer Jeff Tillotson told BBC radio. "Lance Armstrong neither has the legal right, nor frankly the moral right to keep those funds."

The $12 million is said to include legal costs and interest. "As you can imagine, we paid him $12 million for being the official winner of three Tour de France races and swearing under oath he was a clean rider during those races," said Tillotson. "He's now told us, at least though Oprah, that he lied when he told us he was a clean rider. He doped during all those races, and USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and UCI (Internatonal Cycling Union) have stripped him of his official title status. So under those circumstances my client naturally wants his money back."

The extent and depth of Armstrong's deception is out there. "Every question in his testimony that he answered no to when I asked him, he answered yes to Oprah Winfrey," Tillotson noted. "So it was pretty clear from the first few minutes of the interview he was admitting that he had committed perjury in our legal proceedings in the US. From our perspective we were somewhat floored by how quickly he admitted that."

Arrmstrong is already being sued by The Sunday Times for £1 million, for the return of libel action funds the cyclist won under false pretences. The list of those who ask for their money back is set to grow and grow.