Lance Armstrong Loses $10 Million Arbitration Ruling, Faces Suit

Lance Armstrong was ordered to pay $10 million by an arbitration panel hearing claims that the former champion cyclist’s doping practices cheated a promoter out of bonuses paid for three of his seven Tour de France titles.

SCA Promotions Inc. sued Armstrong and his now-defunct management company, Tailwind Sports Corp., in state court in Dallas to enforce the award, which was made in a 2-1 ruling by an arbitration panel on Feb. 4.

The penalty reopens a 2006 settlement in which SCA paid Armstrong $7.5 million through arbitration to end a dispute over a bonus for winning the 2004 Tour de France after allegations that the cyclist may have cheated. At the time, Armstrong insisted that he had won fairly.

SCA sought to reopen the case in June 2013 after Armstrong admitted that he had doped during his racing career.

Tim Herman, an attorney for Armstrong, called the award “unprecedented.”

“No court or arbitrator has ever re-opened a matter, which was fully and finally settled voluntarily,” Herman said in an e-mailed statement.

Herman said arbitrator Ted Lyon, who dissented from the sanction, was correct in his assessment that no arbitration panel in Texas has ever stretched back so far in time to issue such a sanction.

The language of the 2006 agreement “between SCA and Armstrong shows the parties’ intent that the settlement be final and binding,” Lyon said in his dissent.

The award is a penalty and does not include recovery of the $7.5 million SCA earlier paid to Armstrong, Jeff Tillotson, an attorney for SCA, said in a phone interview.

SCA has a pending lawsuit in the same court seeking to recover at least $12 million to cover the cost of the 2004 bonus as well as awards paid for Tour wins in 2002 and 2003, Tillotson said.

Armstrong is facing a string of doping-related litigation including a federal whistle-blower lawsuit by former teammate Floyd Landis over his team’s sponsorship contract with the U.S. Postal Service.

Armstrong, who set records by winning the Tour de France each year from 1999 to 2005, was stripped of the titles in August 2012 by the International Cycling Federation. He admitted in a January 2013 television interview with Oprah Winfrey that he’d used a “cocktail” of testosterone, erythropoietin and blood transfusions throughout his career.

The pending case is SCA Promotions Inc. v. Armstrong, DC13-01564, District Court of Dallas County, Texas, 116th Judicial District.

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