17 February 2015


Lance Armstrong and Tailwind Sports Corporation (Armstrong's former team management company) has been ordered by an arbitration panel to pay US$10m in a dispute with Dallas-based SCA Promotions in what the promotions company characterised as an “unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy”.

SCA has asked Texas’ 116th Civil District Court to confirm the arbitration ruling; an Armstrong lawyer reportedly predicts that the order will be overturned by a judge.

SCA paid Armstrong and Tailwind around US $12m in bonuses during a career in which Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles. As highlighted elsewhere (eg here and here), the titles were removed after Armstrong and his US Postal Service teams were found to have used banned performance-enhancing drugs.

 SCA disputed the bonuses in arbitration in 2005, with Armstrong continuing to deny doping (including testimony on oath). As part of a settlement in 2006 SCA paid Armstrong US$7m. Fast-forward to the  report from the US Anti-Doping Agency and inevitable confession interview with Oprah. SCA sued Armstrong to retrieve its payments, with the dispute going back to the original arbitration panel.

That panel has now announced that
Perjury must never be profitable. Tailwind Sports Corp and Lance Armstrong have justly earned wide public condemnation. That is an inadequate deterrent. Deception demands real, meaningful sanctions.
The arbitration majority said the $10m was a penalty for Armstrong’s lying and efforts to intimidate or coerce witnesses in the previous case.

Media reports that Armstrong  is being sued by the federal government and former teammate Floyd Landis in a whistleblower action over the team’s sponsorship contract with the Postal Service.