The attorneys for SCA Promotions have issued a petition to a Texas district court to confirm the $10 million award decided by an arbitration panel against Lance Armstrong, one that if accepted would compel Armstrong to pay. In the petition, they write that "Mr. Armstrong has indicated that he will refuse to comply with the Award", but Armstrong's lawyer Tim Herman said in a statement that Armstrong had already offered to pay SCA Promotions the $10 million, but they refused to accept it.
The panel decided earlier this month to sanction Armstrong $10 million for repeated perjury, intimidation of witnesses, and for showing no remorse in duping SCA Promotions out of $5 million in bonuses for winning the Tour de France while cheating by using performance enhancing drugs.
The two-man majority Richard D. Faulkner and Richard Chernick wrote, "Perjury must never be profitable. Justice in courts of law and arbitration tribunals is impossible when parties feel free to deliberately deceive judges or arbitrators," calling Armstrong's lies under oath "an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy".
"It is almost certainly the most devious sustained deception ever perpetrated in world sporting history," they wrote. "Tailwind Sports Corp. and Lance Armstrong have justly earned wide public condemnation. That is an inadequate deterrent. Deception demands real, meaningful sanctions."
Armstrong's lawyers disagreed, questioning the legality of re-opening a dispute that the two sides had settled to the tune of $7.5 million in 2005.
"This award is unprecedented," Herman wrote. "No Court or arbitrator has ever reopened a matter which was fully and finally settled voluntarily. In this matter SCA repeatedly affirmed that it never relied upon anything Armstrong said or did in deciding to settle. The proper analysis of governing law is set forth in the opinion of arbitrator Ted Lyon, which is part of the award and which we believe will be adopted when the Courts review the action of the Arbitration Panel.
"Despite the absence of any legal basis for the sanction, Armstrong offered to pay SCA the entire $10mm in order to resolve the matter, but SCA refused."
The sole dissenting arbitrator, Ted Lyon did not believe that the panel had the right to impose the sanction, writing "the Panel exceeded its authority by indulging itself here".
Lyon pointed out that the original case Armstrong exposed SCA Promotions for selling insurance in a state in which it did not have a license, a third-degree felony in Texas, with penalties of $10,000 per day."There were sound reasons for SCA entering into the agreement to settle, including the Confidentiality Agreement, which kept the finding that SCA had engaged in the unauthorized business of insurance from being disclosed to the Texas Department of Insurance, which could have instituted actions against SCA itself."
Lyon agreed that the ruling was unprecedented, stating, "No arbitration panel in Texas or our nation has ever stretched back so far in time to issue such a sanction."
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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