Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Armstrong Arbitration

A three-arbitrator panel in Texas found 2-1 in favor of SCA Promotions, a Dallas sports insurer that paid cyclist Lance Armstrong millions of dollars in bonuses for winning seven Tour de France titles. SCA’s dispute with Armstrong began over a decade ago, after the former U.S. Postal Service team member won the 2004 Tour de France, the sixth of his seven consecutive victories. Following doping allegations, that case went to arbitration in 2005, and SCA Promotions was forced to pay $7.5 million in 2006. Evidence from the SCA arbitration dispute was used against him, including testimony from a former teammate and his wife, who said they heard Armstrong admit to using performance-enhancing drugs back in 1996. Armstrong was later banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in August 2012. Armstrong did not admit to taking banned drugs until a January 2013 televised interview with Oprah Winfrey. SCA accused Armstrong of fraud and filed suit in early 2013, and after the case was sent to arbitration, Armstrong unsuccessfully tried for an appeal with the Texas Supreme Court to have the case blocked. In a filing yesterday, SCA Promotions asked a Texas state judge to confirm the arbitration award against Armstrong. It wants the court to enter a $10 million judgment against Armstrong and former team owner that may enable it to collect payment. Armstrong’s lawyer maintains that the dispute was fully and finally settled voluntarily years earlier. However, reportedly, Armstrong offered to pay SCA the entire $10 million, despite the absence of any legal basis for the sanction, and SCA refused the offer. Armstrong is also facing a $100 million fraud lawsuit from the federal government. See stories here-- http://on.wsj.com/17L3fUG and http://on.si.com/1zkTpzc