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Armstrong unlikely to repay Tour de France bonus money

Cycling News
February 5, 2013, 00:01,
February 5, 2013, 00:02
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong in the good old days

Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong in the good old days

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"Money was paid to Tailwind, not Armstrong," says lawyer

After years of denying having used performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tours de France, Lance Armstrong finally came clean. Within the opening minute of his interview with Oprah Winfrey, the entire world heard the news they had waited to hear: he cheated to win. However, admitting to using a range of doping substances to win his Tour titles doesn't mean he will be paying back any of the bonus money he received from his history-making career, according  to his lawyer Tim Herman.

According to a report by the BBC Sport late last year, Armstrong stood to lose $7.5 million after SCA Promotions - the company that insured US Postal and Discovery Channel's management company Tailwind Sports - announced they would seek a "return of funds". Coupled with the Texan's $3.9 million in Tour de France prize money, many thought a large pay check would have to be sent to SCA and Tour organisers ASO. Not so, says Herman.

"My only point is no athlete ever, to my understanding, has ever gone back and paid back his compensation," Herman told USA Today. "Not (New Orleans Saints coach) Sean Payton or anybody else. They were suspended, but nobody said you've got to give your paycheck back."

Armstrong had been stripped of his Grand Boucle titles in the aftermath of USADA's damning report into doping at the US Postal and Discovery Channel teams and was subsequently banned for life by USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) and the sport's governing body, UCI. Even with his recent admissions and willingness to assist with the proposed truth and reconciliation commission Herman says it's unlikely Armstrong will be able to return to competitive sports.

"He doesn't expect it (eligibility), and his offer (to cooperate) is not contingent on that," he said.

In addition to his public admission, Armstrong would need to cooperate further with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) before his lifetime ban could be reduced. Under the current code his period of ineligibility would still mean eight years away from any sanctioned event. Repaying the reported $12 in bonuses he received during his Tour reign is not likely. Armstrong was in fact paid by Tailwind Sports, not SCA explained Herman.

"I read the rule like you do," Herman said. "An eight-year ban, that would be a lifetime ban (for Armstrong)."

"The bottom line is that Tailwind bought the (insurance) policy (with SCA)," said Herman. "Tailwind paid the premium. Tailwind made the claim, and the money was paid to Tailwind, not Lance Armstrong. I'm sure people will characterize that as a loophole, but it's a pretty significant factor."


Titanium More than 1 year ago
typical, but no one should be surprised - remember this is the guy who said in a widely reported interview post the USADA reasoned decision (early October 2012) "It's their drama. Not mine" and "I wake up and my mind and my conscience and my view on my life and my world, my future and my kids' future is perfectly clear.". It seems that not much has changed in the last few months !
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Right…LA was just doing his job that was sponsored by BIG business. Let’s not be naive and think LA was the master mind behind all this mess. NIKE, TREK and industries sponsors play a key role and should be held accountable. Corporations have been exploiting the workers for years. If it wasn’t for NIKE’s sweat shops a pair of shoes would cost $300. Here is a dumb Idea…the UCI, WADA, USADA and other governing bodies should revoke “ALL” licenses and permits to all Teams and athletes that have ties with corporations that profited by known users. i.e. RadioShack-Leopard would essentially be banned from sponsorship of any kind. Remember LA never finished High School…who are the real victims.
Billy Nunya More than 1 year ago
A decent pair of shoes does cost $300. More, actually. Crappy sneakers made in China, no.
Gary Lee More than 1 year ago
If they pulled the licenses and permits from all teams that have ties to corps that profited by known users it'd be a pretty empty peloton. Just sayin'...
Old Derailleur-in-the-mist More than 1 year ago
LA has no shame.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Like those who traffick in 'humility' on this site, shame has diddly squat to do with this case. People like to see others wear it for their own morbid little kick. In the long run, very unproductive emotion ... especially in pro sport or private business .... like the grand tours.
70kmph More than 1 year ago
This lawyer has lost every fight with his lame defences
Strydz More than 1 year ago
Yeah the lawyer hasn't done well so far
pinocchio More than 1 year ago
Really? I think Lance is and will be doing fine, not that he deserves to be I might add. It became pretty clear that credibility was not their main concern when Herman (unwisely) did an interview for BBC Sportsweek. This has been simply about the "nest egg" for quite a while. After all we now know, it is not a stretch to think that there has been a contingency plan for this for quite some time.
roadhard More than 1 year ago
now lets see if they (armstrong & herman) start pushing harder to get armstrong "cleared to do triathalon". lights, money, action!
ridleyrider More than 1 year ago
If Lance keeps paying him, has he really lost?
aqua lung More than 1 year ago
Obsie Wobsie More than 1 year ago
Good. Armstrong, while he's shown himself to be a miserable person from time to time, is no bigger a "cheat" than any of the other dopers. Once they pay back their winnings I'll begin to think that maybe Armstrong should pay his.
schnabelkerf More than 1 year ago
I guess it should be the other way round: Armstrong as the biggest cheat should lead the way!
Obsie Wobsie More than 1 year ago
A "cheat" is a "cheat." Why does no one care that Andreu has lied for years about FIRST using EPO in 1999 supposedly help Armstrong win. But finally admits under oath that he REALL started using EPO in 1996, and used it 1998 to prepare for the 1998 TDF-- a race that he knew Armstrong was not scheduled to race. Andreu is no smaller a cheat than is Armstrong, and no lkess a liar. So, it's okay to "cheat" if you're just a supporting rider looking to make it to the TDF team. Got it.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Well said...didn't Tyler mention in his book that Andreu began to Foster LA in the art of doping. If Tyler is correct innocent Frankie can be consider the modern day father of EPO. Not use if this is true...makes a good story tale.
Obsie Wobsie More than 1 year ago
@ kom_n91 I dont remember reading that Frankie pulled Lance's coat to EPO. But it really doesn't matter to me who brought it up: the point is, as Lance said, they were all grown men who made their own choices. As far as I can tell, the only ppl alleging that Lance "made" or pressured to dope are USADA and Betsy Andreu. If you read the affidavits, no one, as fare as I've seen, has said they were pressured to dope.To the contrary, most admit that THEY asked to dope.
Gary Lee More than 1 year ago
Obsie - No one wants to hear the "truth"!! This is all about the villain Lance Armstrong! Please take your facts elsewhere, we don't want to hear them! LOL!!
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Finger on the pulse, GL.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
GLM's pulse is pushing 150bpm...:)
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Everyone connected (even remotely) with cycling within a 20,000 Km radius of the Armstrong train made money .... some of them big money off the back of Armstrong. Yeah, return your money to its rightful owner and maybe you have a case for Lance to return his. If not, suck it up, baby.
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Everyone connected (even remotely) with cycling within a 20,000 Km radius of the Armstrong train made money .... some of them big money off the back of Armstrong. Yeah, return your money to its rightful owner and maybe you have a case for Lance to return his. If not, su it up, baby.
Silver Bullet More than 1 year ago
Yeah and pro cycling is just entertainment.
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Alpe and Ripper have only negatives by their comments. That shows that the mass of people will always be what they are, the MASS OF PEOPLE. Those are people who hide behind Lance type people to do their dirty work for them, to keep their gas cheap, to rob from others, to keep them safe. The whole world is a Postal type arrangement, where some get rich off of others for no reason other than fixing the game. My suggestion? Fight. Get a sack, and fight. Don´t sit around acting like there is some big fairy godmother of goodness who will make everything good and whole and keep the cheaters out. We´re all cheaters, in way or another.
ripper123 More than 1 year ago
he won the fair and square. simple. clean or not just like the rest of the peleton.
schnabelkerf More than 1 year ago
Of course - and the stork brings babies, and presents under the Christmas tree were put there by Father Christmas - hold on, I forgot, there's another universal truth - the earth is a disk!
Brokenman More than 1 year ago
I really don’t understand why cycling fans are so angry at Lance? I have followed European pro cycling since the late 80s and the ubiquitous nature of PEGs in the peloton has been discussed ever since then. Since I have followed the sport, the following stands out in my memory: - Pedro Delgado tests positive during his winning TDF year for a masking drug and gets off since he just missed the listed date for the substance. Second Steven Rooks states that he will personally deliver the yellow jersey to Delgado if he is disqualified. - Paul Kimmage writes a Rough Ride and is shunned by many top cyclists including Stephan Sean Kelly. - Gilles Delion retires at a young age stating that he cannot compete as he chooses not to use drugs and it is abnormal not to use such substances. He also states that all the French teams were involved. - Allan Peiper retires and writes an autobiography stating that the team would inject riders with unknown substances. - As many as 18 European professional bicycle racers between 1987 and 1991 from heart attacks from suspected EPO use. All this is before 1996 when Bjarne Riis takes EPO throughout the peak of his career and to win the TDF, is not asked for his prize money back and is still allowed to coach. Of course the list goes on and gets bigger due to increased testing (not increased usage) with such notable as the Festina team wide doping, operation Puerto, over half of the cyclists placing in the top 10 during Lance’s wins also know dopers... I will stop short of rehashing all the countless knows drug incidents in the history of the sport, but what I am trying to get at: Why is everyone so angry at Lance? Where was their anger 20 years ago? 15 years ago? 10 years ago? Have they not followed the sport? Are they like the general public who just heard that a guy who dates rock stars is on Oprah? Personally, I was angry from the top five listed above and now I am just tired. I choose to be more upset by the numerous coaches still in the sport that are known past dopers than a retired cyclist who used his fame to start a foundation that contributed hundreds of millions to cancer. I know, I know, the foundation is all about his ego. But he has still contributed more for this world than the countless known dopers before him and those still in trusted possitions in the sport.
tobester More than 1 year ago
I feel the same anger about all of the above. I think what makes Armstrong different (or more extreme) is the way he went about systematically destroying people and reputations who, actually, were right. Personally, I am annoyed that he did the drugs, I am angry that he spent so much time talking about the health risks of doping when we was using and I am livid about the way he has treated anyone who challenged him.
roadhard More than 1 year ago
epofuel More than 1 year ago
Ripper is right. I can see by the plus and minus thumbs that the most popular view for readers of this site are those who are totally ok with lynching Armstrong and leaving all the rest of the cheaters in the peloton. Likely the same people who believe socialist leaders are in it for the ´good of the people´and that all capitalists are cheaters, right? The naive beliefs on this forum are astounding, and worse, it´s almost EVERYONE, save for a few people, who are this way. Alpe73 is one of the few clear voices. There are others. But the majority of stuff is so absurd that it would make Albert Camus himself have to reinvent the idea of the Absurd. Everyone is so wrapped up in the technicalities of it all. We want to do whatever to ensure a fair, clean, outcome. But when has that ever happened in life? Not much, if ever. It´s not a Lance problem, it´s a human problem. So many were doping that it´s impossible to unravel it. Even if only 25% were doping you would never, ever get to the end of the problem, and there would be so many dopers still left in cycling that nothing would be accomplished. There is no way out of this. Lance went down, and now the Lance haters are left with no clear solution. Ban Lance for life, but why not Rasmussen? Why does Ulrich get off? He kept his mouth shut, too! Why aren´t the Lance haters proposing lynching Eufemiano Fuentes? That´s right - cause most of you have no idea. Some of the worst people on this forum are the I COULD HAVE BEEN PRO people. Really? Where´s the proof? That´s like saying "I could have been rich." Oh yeah? Then go get it. Earn, steal, do whatever, but put your money where your mouth is. Unless you have a religious view of life (even then that´s very dubious), then it´s the law of the jungle out there. The law of the jungle truly means that there is nothing to govern human behavior. You can deceive yourself to the contrary, but it´s true. Beg, borrow, steal - that´s what life is about unless you think there is a heavenly body judiciating over everything. So, Lance haters, I ask you, as a former Lance hater...why aren´t we going after Rasmussen? He did the same as Lance. Rabobank, same team doping as Lance. Of course, now people will proclaim "he had a bad attitude!" That is lame, lame, lame. The truth is that so many on this forum would steal from others as well, but they would do while hiding behind a government or some other leader to steal it for them. Nobody really wants to do the dirty work, but they want the fruits of the dirty work. You can splice this Lance thing any way you want, but Lance has won already. There was too much doping already proven and the idea that "only a few were doping" seems super, super childish. But this forum is full of childish people, without honor, who would steal as Lance stole but without the guts. In real life they probably hide behind Lance type people, and don´t say anything until it´s totally safe. They enjoy the fruits, and when the leader has been comsumed, they denounce him for some good feelies and go on to the next. No wonder the world is as it is.
roadhard More than 1 year ago
My wife and I have disliked armstrong for years. I trusted that he was clean. I took issue with his totally self serving attitude. In an interview late (after stage 15) in the 2009 tdf he responded "this is not what WE had planned". Made my blood boil! Did he have a mouse in his jersey pocket? To this day Contador is my hero, yeah, yeah I know. I would like armstrong removed from sports all together. NO lance was'nt alone in the doping. I agree. I would like to see this armstrong case go away so that we can all calm down. Lets move forward. That means you to cyclingnews. Go pick some flowers and post a picture or something!
lakat47 More than 1 year ago
It will go away when it's supposed to. No justice, no peace. People's lives were ruined. Turn away if you don't want to look.
Andrejs_Ozo More than 1 year ago
agree with you, best post i have seen so far.
jojo1973 More than 1 year ago
epofuel...great post
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Spot on.
Scott Smith More than 1 year ago
Why is this typical? The insurance company agreed to the terms, I think it is great that an insurance company is taking one in the butt! Love it when they screw up.
NashbarShorts More than 1 year ago
The insurance company agreed to pay the bonuses contingent upon Armstrong being the winner of those races... He is no longer the winner of those races. Game, set, match.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Are we playing Tennis?
diesel More than 1 year ago
He sued the insurance company to pay out the bonuses after they refused, citing concerns over doping rumors. He won then, but he will lose now.
PutMeBackOnBike More than 1 year ago
Am I the only that is so utterly disturbed by the behaviour of this whole legal team? It is inconceivable that they didn't know the truth pretty much from the get-go, so they are making millions from the presentation and representation of known untruths, supporting bullying and possibly fraud, as well as actively condoning perjurious acts. The massive lack of integrity alone is distasteful enough, but the ethics of this are truly astounding.
NashbarShorts More than 1 year ago
You're astounded that lawyers lie and are unethical? Show me an honest lawyer and I'll show you Manti Te'o's girlfriend.
Luis Vivanco More than 1 year ago
The role of a lawyer is to take a side and defend it. He/she will use any resource available under the law to defend the position of his/her client. Usually this is done against another lawyer who is being paid to take the opposite stand and with a judge to weight in the merits of both positions' arguments. Honesty exists as long as a) the lawyer protects his client's interests and b) it does so withint the confines of the law. The alternative is that we demanded from each lawyer to be first and foremost a judge of his/her client. The whole justice system would fall down.
Murali Parameswaran More than 1 year ago
just search for lawyer jokes.
TwelfthGear More than 1 year ago
Yes, Herman doesn't have any credibility left, after he said on the radio that Armstrong might take a lie-detector test. (Armstrong was never going to do that, it was just bull). On another subject, that photo of Armstrong and Bruyneel on a plane appears at the top of every cyclingnews article about the seven-times non-winner of the TDF. Haven't they got any other pictures??!
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
Just a reminder to you and the other readers that Lance Armstrong won those 7 titles on the road. They can write what ever they like in their official records books, but to the ones who really know the deal, the game, the truth (the riders) ..... Lance won seven times. It happened. It's recorded. It is what it is. That reality you cannot change.
kom_n91 More than 1 year ago
Well said....
lakat47 More than 1 year ago
I am utterly disturbed by the attitudes expressed in the majority of these posts. That cheating is normal and if you don't cheat, you don't want to win. Where are the ethics and character Americans are SUPPOSED to have? Who are we anymore? Disturbed and disgusted is what I am. "A man's word is his bond." AND "If you don't have your reputation, you have nothing." These are values we used to live by. Honesty and the Golden Rule..what happened?
Alpe73 More than 1 year ago
The setting sun and rolling world happened. Kindergarten to high school happened. House league to competitive started. Cookies to money happened.
dhm600 More than 1 year ago
Hopefully now SCA will now take Tailwind Sports directors (Armstrong, Bruyneel, Weisel, Stapleton, etc) to court so Armstrong can repeat his 2005 perjury about not being its owner and SCA (and others) will have a clear path to recover his fraudulently gained "winnings".
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