Dallas: Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of seven Tour de France titles for doping, must pay $10 million (Dh36.7 million) after losing an arbitration dispute with SCA Promotions.
The Texas firm announced on Monday in a statement that the arbitration panel punished Armstrong for “an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy.”
The award, which SCA said was believed to be the largest sanction assessed against an individual in American judicial history, was made public when SCA filed a motion with a Dallas court to have the arbitration ruling confirmed into a judgment against Armstrong.
“We are very pleased with this result,” SCA Promotions president Bob Hamman said. “It is hard to describe how much harm Lance Armstrong’s web of lies caused SCA, but this is a good first start towards repairing that damage.”
Armstrong, 43, received $4.5 million in bonus payments from SCA for winning the Tour de France from 2001-2003 under SCA’s deal with the US Postal Service team owners.
But SCA refused to pay Armstrong a $5 million bonus for his 2004 triumph. Armstrong went to court and settled the case for $7.5 million in 2006 after swearing he had won the race without taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong’s confession of doping in 2013 prompted SCA to reopen the matter and the arbitration panel conducted a new hearing. SCA had sought $12 million from Armstrong, including legal fees.
“This record-breaking award was justified given Armstrong’s outrageous conduct,” SCA attorney Jeff Tillotson said, adding, “the panel of arbitrators determined that Armstrong ‘continued to lie to the panel throughout the final hearing even while admitting to prior falsehoods and other wrongful conduct’.”
Arbitrators ruled Armstrong “used perjury and other wrongful conduct to secure millions of dollars of benefits” from SCA, saying the fallen cycling star committed “perjury on every issue” in the case and finding Armstrong “intimidated and pressured other witnesses to lie” and “used a false personal and emotional appeal to perpetuate” his lies.
Armstrong admitted in the hearing he did not tell the truth about his earlier doping but arbitrators wrote that he “expressed no remorse.”
SCA has a lawsuit in Dallas state district court pursuing additional claims against Armstrong, who is also fighting a federal lawsuit over fraud claims that could cost him $100 million.