LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Dallas insurance company SCA Promotions is demanding the return of millions of dollars in bonuses paid to Lance Armstrong during his Tour-winning years, now that the UCI has expunged the embattled cyclist’s Tour de France victories from the record books.
“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,” Jeffrey Dorough, general counsel for the firm, told AFP.
On Monday, in Geneva, Switzerland, the UCI officially backed the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to erase Armstrong’s cycling records, including the seven Tour de France titles he won from 1999-2005.
Earlier this month, USADA released a devastating dossier on Armstrong, putting him at the heart of the biggest doping program in the history of sport.
Dorough confirmed that SCA is seeking to reclaim $7.5 million it paid out to Armstrong after a 2006 arbitration proceeding, which included a $5 million bonus as well as legal fees and interest.
During Armstrong’s era of dominance, Tailwind Sports, parent company of the U.S. Postal Service team, took out a policy with SCA, paying a premium to cover bonuses paid to Armstrong for each of his Tour de France victories.
When SCA withheld a $5 million bonus after Armstrong’s sixth Tour de France win in 2004 because of the doping allegations made in the book LA Confidential, Armstrong took successful legal action.
Armstrong won the case on the basis that the original contract between SCA and Tailwind Sports did not include any stipulations about doping.
SCA is reported to have paid a total of $12 million to Armstrong in bonuses over his formerly Tour-winning years.
“The only figure I can confirm is the $7.5 million paid to Mr. Armstrong in 2006 pursuant to the arbitration,” Dorough said. He added, “Any sum that was paid by SCA would be in play.”