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US promotions company to sue Lance Armstrong

Cyclist taken to court by Dallas-based firm to recover $12m in bonuses he received for winning the Tour de France.
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2013 10:56
SCA Promotions in Dallas already tried to withhold bonuses in 2005 amid doping allegations against Armstrong [AFP]

A promotions company in the United States is suing cyclist Lance Armstrong to recover more than $12 million it paid him in bonuses for winning the Tour de France seven times.

"Armstrong's legal team and representatives claimed repeatedly that SCA would only be entitled to repayment if Armstrong was stripped of his titles..."

- SCA Promotions

SCA Promotions in Dallas wants its money back, plus fees and interest, now that Armstrong has admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs and has been stripped of those victories.

The company already tried to withhold the bonuses in 2005 amid doping allegations against the cyclist.

In that year, Armstrong testified under oath that he did not use steroids, other drugs or blood doping methods to win. A spokesperson for SCA said the lawsuit will be filed in Dallas on Thursday.

"Armstrong's legal team and representatives claimed repeatedly that SCA would only be entitled to repayment if Armstrong was stripped of his titles, and since that has now come to pass, we intend to hold them to those statements," the company said.

Armstrong solicitor Tim Herman did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

'High-level source'

Separately, Armstrong was given more time to think about whether he wants to co-operate with the US Anti-Doping Agency.

USADA, the agency that investigated the cyclist's performance-enhancing drug use and banned him for life from sports, has given him an extra two weeks to decide if he will speak with investigators under oath.

 Tour de France champion lashes out at Armstrong

The agency has said co-operating in its cleanup effort is the only path to Armstrong getting his ban reduced. The agency extended its original Wednesday deadline to February 20.

Also on Wednesday, the federal Food and Drug Administration said it is not investigating Armstrong. FDA spokesperson Sarah Clark-Lynn made the statement following stories by ABC News and USA Today Sports.

Quoting an unidentified person that it called a "high-level source," ABC said that federal agents are actively investigating Armstrong for obstruction, witness tampering and intimidation.

On Wednesday, USA Today Sports reported that the FDA "is investigating the Lance Armstrong case".

The news reports came after a statement by US Attorney Andre Birotte, whose office conducted a criminal investigation of Armstrong, closing the probe a year ago without bringing any charges.

Armstrong subsequently admitted to the drug use he long denied after USADA went ahead with its own investigation.

Birotte said that "we've been well-aware of the statements that have been made by Armstrong and other media reports. That has not changed my view at this time. Obviously, we'll consider, we'll continue to look at the situation, but that hasn't changed our view as I stand here today".

Justice Department spokesperson Tracy Schmaler declined to say whether any other component of the department is investigating Armstrong.

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