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USADA giving Lance Armstrong more time to cooperate

Photo: Damian Dovarganes/AP

Lance Armstrong wants to be a part of the doping solution, so he's trying to work with investigators.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- A Dallas promotions company sued Lance Armstrong on Thursday, demanding he repay $12 million in bonuses and fees it paid him for winning the Tour de France.

SCA Promotions had tried in a 2005 legal dispute to prove Armstrong cheated to win before it ultimately settled and paid him.

Armstrong recently acknowledged using performance-enhancing drugs, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 detailed a sophisticated doping program by his Armstrong's teams. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and given a lifetime ban from sports.

Now, the company contends in its lawsuit, Armstrong and agent Bill Stapleton conspired to cheat SCA out of millions. The lawsuit notes that Armstrong repeatedly testified under oath in the 2005 dispute that he did not use steroids, other drugs or blood doping methods to win, all of which he now admits to doing.

"It is time now for Mr. Armstrong to face the consequences of his actions," the lawsuit said. "He admits he doped; he admits he bullied people; he admits he lied."

The lawsuit names Armstrong, Stapleton and Tailwind Sports, Inc., the team's management entity, as defendants.

Tim Herman, an attorney for Armstrong and Stapleton, did not immediately return telephone messages. Herman has previously noted that SCA previously settled its case with Armstrong and said it should not be allowed to reopen the matter.

SCA's lawsuit counters that the case was settled only after Armstrong's lies under oath prevented it from proving he doped.

The lawsuit seeks to recover $9.5 million in bonus money and another $2.5 million paid to Armstrong for other costs and fees.

Separately, USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said Wednesday the agency has been in contact with him Armstrong and is giving him more time to decide if he wants to cooperate with its investigators and tell more about what he knows of doping in cycling.

USADA extended its original Wednesday deadline to Feb. 20 to work out an interview with investigators under oath.

Just two weeks ago, Herman had strongly suggested Armstrong would not be interested in talking with USADA investigators. Tygart said it was Armstrong who asked for more time.

"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."

The agency has said cooperating in its cleanup effort is the only path open to Armstrong if his lifetime ban from sports is to be reduced.

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