Report: Lance Armstrong could face more legal issues
Lance Armstrong could encounter more legal issues stemming from the evidence presented in the United States Anti-Doping Agency report released Wednesday, according to The New York Times.
The USADA report, which accused the seven-time Tour de France winner of leading an illegal doping program with his cycling teammates, also implicates Armstrong for lying under oath during hearings and an arbitration process for an insurance settlement with SCA Promotions of Dallas. The United States Postal Service contracted with SCA for a policy covering Armstrong's $5 million performance bonus for winning the 2004 Tour de France.
SCA refused to pay the bonus after a French book published details and allegations of Armstrong doping in 2004. The insurer eventually settled to pay the bonus, plus $2.5 million in interest and Armstrong's legal fees after arbitration.
At the time, Armstrong attacked SCA and its founder, Bob Hamman, as well as witnesses, including some members of the cycling community, who testified for the company.
On Friday, Jeffrey M. Tillotson, a lawyer in Dallas who represents SCA, said his client would attempt to regain the $7.5 million plus interest.
“He basically said that we were scum and how dare we criticize him,” Tillotson said. “So there is some measure of relief that we can now say that he didn’t get away with it forever and, by the way, ‘You owe us $7.5 million.’ ”
An attorney for Armstrong, Timothy J. Herman, said the terms of the 2006 settlement prevent SCA from reopening the case.
“The full and final release that SCA signed put this to bed long ago,” Herman wrote in an e-mail message. “SCA agreed it could never challenge or appeal the award anyway or anyhow — ever.”
Tillotson said Armstrong’s lies, as outlined in the agency’s report, had changed the understanding that was reached through arbitration.
The USADA's report could also give U.S. attorneys reason to reopen a two-year federal investigation closed in February.
André Birotte Jr., the United States attorney for the Central District of California, announced in February that he had closed an investigation into Armstrong. He gave no reason for ending the inquiry, which had lasted nearly two years. An inquiry by the Department of Justice, however, is believed to be continuing.