Disgraced U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10 million to a sports promotions company in a fraud dispute over cycling bonuses.
Arbitrators at a civil court in Texas ruled Monday that Dallas-based SCA Promotions should get back the bonuses it paid to the 43-year-old Armstrong during the years he was doping.
The company had paid Armstrong bonuses for three of his Tour de France victories. The cyclist was stripped of his record seven championships, his 2000 Olympics bronze medal and given a lifetime cycling ban in 2012 after an investigation by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found he used performance-enhancing drugs.
SCA had disputed the bonuses in arbitration courts for years, with Armstrong testifying under oath at a hearing in 2005 that he did not use drugs. After Armstrong admitted to using banned drugs in 2013, the case was reopened.
The three-member arbitration panel said Monday the case presents "an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy."
Armstrong team will appeal
Lawyers for Armstrong say they are appealing the ruling.
A lawyer for SCA, Jeffery Tillotson, described at the time of the court hearings in 2013 why his client was pursuing the case.
"My client had a contract with Lance Armstrong whereby we would pay him prize money if he won a series of Tour de France races in 2002, 2003, 2004. He won those races. We paid him the prize money because he was the winner and because he said he was a clean rider,” Tillotson said. “Now that he's admitted he doped and those titles have been stripped from him, my client believes it is entitled to the return of that money.''
He described Armstrong as "an extremely passionate liar. He was cold and ruthless about it," Tillotson said. "There was no hesitation. He employed almost every trick in the book to embellish and make his lie more believable.''