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Lance Armstrong (US Postal) protected by his body guard at the 2004 Tour de France
Insurance company looks to recoup $7.5 million payment
An arbitration panel will deliberate on an appeal from SCA Promotions for Lance Armstrong to repay the $7.5 million settlement he received from the insurance company in 2006.
The win bonuses due to be paid to Armstrong by Tailwind Sports, the management company behind the US Postal Service team, were insured by SCA, who paid out $4.5 million for his victories in 2002 and 2003.
The Dallas-based SCA then refused to pay out a further $5 million following Armstrong’s 2004 Tour win, pointing to suspicions that he had doped his way to victory. The case went to arbitration, where Armstrong denied doping and SCA was ultimately ordered to pay him the $5 million, as well as an additional $2.5 million in damages.
After Armstrong was formally stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last October, SCA announced that it was launching legal proceedings to recoup the money that it had paid out to him. Armstrong has since confessed to doping during each of his Tour victories.
According to a report on Statesman.com, arbitrators in the dispute have ruled that they “will exercise jurisdiction to determine and make a final award resolving any disputes between or among Tailwind Sports Corp., Lance Armstrong and SCA Promotions, Inc.”
The news has been welcomed by SCA spokesperson Jeff Dorough, who said: “SCA is pleased with the ruling and looks forward to a timely resolution to this matter.” Dorough confirmed that SCA
However, Armstrong’s lawyer Tim Herman has argued that the matter was settled by the binding agreement made during the initial arbitration hearing in 2005, and maintains that under Texas law, the original settlement cannot be undone.
The arbitration panel has confirmed that any new ruling will not affect Armstrong’s agent and business partner, Bill Stapleton. “The evidence and law do not provide any basis for this Tribunal to assert jurisdiction over Mr. Stapleton,” they said, according to the Statesman. “We express no opinion concerning what, if any, liability may be asserted against him in any other forum.”