Lance Armstrong is refusing to pay back bonuses for winning the Tour de France. (Tom Pennington, Getty Images)
Lance Armstrong is refusing to refund the nearly $12 million of bonus money he received for winning the Tour de France in 2002, 2003, and 2004, according to a USA Today report.
Tailwind Sports, the owner of Armstong's cycling team, had bonuses built into their contract with Armstrong that paid the cyclist extra for winning the Tour de France. However, in 2004 the company withheld the bonus thanks to suspicions that Armstrong doped in order to win the titles. After a lengthy court battle in which Armstrong testified under oath that he never took performance-enhancing drugs, the company paid Armstrong his bonus.
Now, after Armstrong publicly admitted to doping in all seven of his Tour de France victories, Tailwind plans to file a lawsuit to get the money back. Along with legal fees, the company is demanding is around $12.5 million in total, according to the report.
"My only point is no athlete ever, to my understanding, has ever gone back and paid back his compensation," Armstong's lawyer Tim Herman told USA Today. "Not (New Orleans Saints coach) Sean Payton or anybody else. They were suspended, but nobody said you've got to give your paycheck back."