Lance Armstrong, stripped of seven Tour de France victories and banned from professional cycling in 2012, was questioned under oath for the first time since he admitted doping in an Oprah Winfrey interview last year.
Armstrong, 42, was deposed yesterday in an arbitration case by SCA Promotions Inc., which seeks to recoup $12 million tied to bonuses for three of his Tour victories from 2002 through 2004, Jeffrey Tillotson, a lawyer for SCA, said in an e-mail. Tillotson declined to comment on details of the deposition.
The questioning of Armstrong by attorneys for SCA took place on the same day a federal judge in Washington agreed to put on hold a June 23 deposition of Armstrong by U.S. government lawyers in a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by Floyd Landis, his former teammate. The judge, Robert Wilkins, said he expects to rule within a week on a request by Armstrong to dismiss the lawsuit.
The Texas Supreme Court last month cleared the way for Armstrong’s deposition in the SCA case when it refused to overrule a trial judge who had allowed SCA to re-open a closed arbitration case against Armstrong.
SCA paid Armstrong $7.5 million in an arbitration settlement in 2006, after he fought an attempt to withhold prize money because of allegations he had cheated in the 2004 Tour de France. During that proceeding, Armstrong testified under oath that he had never used performing enhancing drugs, according to SCA.
Tim Herman, Armstrong’s lawyer, declined to comment on yesterday’s deposition.
SCA, based in Dallas, sued last year after Armstrong told Winfrey he had cheated in every single Tour de France victory he won.
In November, Armstrong settled a separate case by Acceptance Insurance Co. over $3 million in prize money it had paid him the day before he was scheduled to be questioned under oath, Mark Kincaid, a lawyer for the insurance company, said yesterday in a phone interview.
In the whistle-blower case, Wilkins said in November that he was inclined to let at least some of the lawsuit go forward. The deposition that was set for June 23 could be reset if he allows the case to proceed.
The case is SCA Promotions Inc. v. Armstrong, DC-13-01564, Texas District Court, Dallas County. The Landis case is U.S. v. Tailwind Sports Corp., 10-cv-00976, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).
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