WASHINGTON, D.C. (AFP) — Dallas insurance company SCA Promotions confirmed on Wednesday that it has sent Lance Armstrong a letter demanding the return of $12 million in bonuses, and warned that it might take legal action against the Texan.
SCA attorney Jeff Dorough said the letter not only seeks the return of bonus money, but also warns that SCA might go to court for legal sanctions and penalties against the 41-year-old, whom the UCI recently stripped of seven Tour de France titles for doping.
The potential legal action could come as a result of false testimony Armstrong gave during an arbitration hearing that ended in 2006.
Dorough confirmed that SCA was seeking $7.5 million it paid out to Armstrong after the hearing, which included a $5 million bonus as well as legal fees and interest.
“Mr. Armstrong is no longer the official winner of any Tour de France races and as a result it is inappropriate and improper for him to retain any bonus payments made by SCA,” Dorough said.
After a lengthy investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the UCI backed USADA’s decision to effectively erase Armstrong’s post-cancer cycling record, including the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999 to 2005.
USADA released a detailed account of the evidence it collected when it presented the UCI with a 200-page report that put Armstrong at the heart of the biggest doping program in the history of the sport.
During Armstrong’s era of dominance, the U.S. Postal Service team’s parent company, Tailwind Sports, took out a policy with SCA, paying the insurance company a premium to cover bonuses paid to Armstrong for his Tour de France victories.
When SCA withheld the $5 million bonus due after Armstrong’s sixth Tour de France win in 2004 because of doping allegations circulating in Europe, Armstrong took the matter to court. He won the case because the original contract between SCA and Tailwind Sports had no stipulations about doping.