Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10 million to SCA Promotions, the Texas firm that underwrote a $5 million bonus awarded after his 2004 Tour de France victory. According to the Associated Press, a three-person arbitration panel decided 2-1 in favor of SCA Promotions, and ordered Armstrong and former US Postal Service team owners Tailwind Sports to pay $10 million.
The company spent two years fighting against paying the bonus after the first allegations of Armstrong's doping appeared in the book L.A. Confidentiel by David Walsh and Pierre Ballaster. SCA Promotions settled out of court in 2006 after a lengthy arbitration, paying the original $5 million bonus plus $2.5 million in court costs.
In 2012, Armstrong was handed a lifetime ban from the sport and stripped of those seven Tour de France titles for doping. When Armstrong confessed to doping in 2013, the company began working to revisit the legal case. Last February, a judge cleared the way for SCA Promotions to reopen the lawsuit.
According to an SCA Promotions statement, the $10 million award is believed to be the largest of its kind in American judicial history.
The arbitration panel said that Armstrong engaged in "an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy."
In the 2005 suit, Armstrong testified under oath on numerous occasions that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
The arbitrators decided that Armstrong had "used perjury and other wrongful conduct to secure millions of dollars of benefits" from SCA Promotions, and that he "expressed no remorse to the Panel for his wrongful conduct."
SCA Promotions' lawyer Jeff Tillotson, called Armstrong's conduct "outrageous", and added, "the panel of arbitrators determined that Armstrong ‘continued to lie to the Panel throughout the final hearing even while admitting to prior falsehoods and other wrongful conduct.'"
"We are very pleased with this result," SCA's president and founder Bob Hamman said in a statement. "It is hard to describe how much harm Lance Armstrong's web of lies caused SCA but this is a good first start towards repairing that damage."
Armstrong's battle with SCA Promotions is not over. The company is hoping the Texas court will call the award a "final judgment", so it can collect the money. It also has another lawsuit pending in Dallas district court for additional claims against Lance Armstrong and his former manager Bill Stapleton.
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