Under testimony for the US Federal Government False Claims Act case, Lance Armstrong has admitted his 1993 "Million Dollar" Triple Crown victory was bought. according to Velonews. This confirms 2013 accusations by Roberto Gaggioli. Armstrong states the deal was done with the help of then-Motorola team manager and current BMC Racing team manager Jim Ochowicz, who denied the claim.
But Alexi Grewal, who was a member of the Coors Light team that was paid off in the deal, confirmed the transaction on his Facebook page, stating, "I was there. I voted in the team meeting about the deal, it happened, my money came in cash, Ron Kiefel handed it to me in a paper bag, Ochowicz is lying."
In June of 1993 Armstrong won the the Thrift Drug Classic and the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, needing a victory in the third and final leg of the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling to claim a million dollar prize for winning all three races. Gaggioli claimed Armstrong's team paid his team $100,000 to ensure the American won the race. In 2006, Gaggioli's New Zealand Coors Light teammate Stephen Swart - a future Motorola teammate with Armstrong - testified that Armstrong paid out $50,000.
Cyclingnews has sought comment from BMC regarding the accusations, but has received no reply.
Armstrong's then Motorola teammate Phil Anderson was also implicated in the testimony, but the Australian earlier denied the accusation.
"I can't remember an offer," Anderson said of the alleged fix on the ABC television show "Four Corners". "I think that the $1 million was underwritten by an insurance company, but I don't recall. I mean that's a few years ago. I don't recall any meeting."
Cyclingnews has contacted Anderson for further comment.
Earlier this month, it was announced that Katusha rider Alexandr Kolobnev and current Astana team manager Alexandre Vinokourov are to stand trial in Belgium on corruption charges after investigation into the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege by Belgian courts found sufficient evidence that Vinokourov paid €100,000 for the victory.
The whistleblower lawsuit, brought by Floyd Landis back in 2010, has stirred up ample controversy as testimony is slowly leaked to the media. Armstrong has gone on the defensive in his statements, accusing former teammate Frankie Andreu - one of the first to come forward with admissions of doping and to publicly testify to Armstrong's doping - of having doped throughout his career.
Armstrong stands to lose a sizeable chunk of the fortune he amassed through his seven-year Tour de France reign in the case. Should the federal government win, Armstrong could have to pay back sums into the tens of millions of dollars.
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