By Greg Johnson
The office of South Australian Premier Mike Rann has neither confirmed nor denied reports that Lance Armstrong will be paid one million USD for his appearance at next week's Tour Down Under. Instead Lachlan Parker, from the Premier's media department, said any monies that may have been paid to the seven time Tour de France winner will go to the Livestrong charity.
"All teams that take part are paid a fee to do so," Parker told Cyclingnews . "Any fee which may have been paid to Lance will go to his charity."
Parker was quick to point out that any monies which may or may not have been paid to Armstrong will not be disclosed. "No further information has been divulged," he said.
The comments come after political and business news publication Crikey.com.au reported Armstrong received a $500,000 USD down payment with the balance to be paid following the event.
Armstrong will attend a Cancer Council fundraising dinner at Adelaide Town Hall on Friday evening, before starting the Cancer Council Criterium on Sunday evening, and the Tour Down Under next Tuesday. The Texan announced his return to professional racing last September, with the aim of raising funds and awareness for cancer.
The 37-year-old is himself a survivor of cancer, having been diagnosed with testicular cancer in October, 1996. The cancer had already spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain, prompting the rider to undergo surgery to remove his brain tumour and the affected testicle.