USADA extends deadline for Armstrong talks

The United States Anti-Doping Agency has extended the deadline afforded to Lance Armstrong for the former seven-time Tour de France to share evidence. Armstrong confessed to the use of performance-enhancing drugs in a two-part interview with television mogul, Oprah Winfrey last month.

"We have been in communication with Mr. Armstrong and his representatives and we understand that he does want to be part of the solution and assist in the effort to clean up the sport of cycling," said USADA boss Travis Tygart. "We have agreed to his request for an additional two weeks to work on details to hopefully allow for this to happen."

The statement from Tygart indicates a shift from the Armstrong camp which has previously refused to work with the anti-doping body.

"USADA has no authority to investigate, prosecute or otherwise involve itself with the other 95% of cycling competitors," Armstrong lawyer Timothy Herman claimed late last month. "Thus, in order to achieve the goal of 'cleaning up cycling,' it must be WADA and the UCI who have overall authority to do so."

USADA worked with Interpol and other anti-doping associations around the world to snare Armstrong and force other riders to confess and testify. It has also banned Dr Michele Ferrari and other doctors who worked with Armstrong and the US Postal Service Team. The UCI ratified USADA's bans after studying the 1000 pages of evidence.

Meantime, SCA Promotions - the company that insured US Postal and Discovery Channel's management company Tailwind Sports – has indicated that it will move ahead to sue Armstrong to recover more than $12 million it paid him in bonuses for winning the Tour de France seven times.

The company was one of several which insured Tailwind Sports, the owner of Armstrong's US Postal and Discovery Channel teams from having to pay out the $5 million bonus promised to him if he were to win the Tour de France for the sixth time in 2004.

When allegations of doping by Armstrong became public after the release of L.A. Confidentiel, the expose written by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester, SCA Promotions refused to pay the bonus.

Armstrong took the case to arbitration, where despite testimony from individuals such as Betsy and Frankie Andreu, supporting the assertions in the book that Armstrong doped, the two parties settled out of court, with SCA Promotions having to pay the bonus plus $2.5 million in legal fees and interest because the wording of the contract held them to payment as long as Armstrong was the winner of the Tours.

Given Armstrong's recent admissions, SCA Promotions have indicated that they would be among the first to recover their losses. Earlier this week, Herman claimed that Armstrong could not be targeted by a law suit, saying:

"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."

However, SCA Promotions today said that it will move ahead and file a case against Armstrong in a Dallas court.


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