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Armstrong fails to halt bonus probe


Disgraced Lance Armstrong

Disgraced Lance Armstrong

Disgraced Lance Armstrong

A Texas judge has thrown out Lance Armstrong's request to stop an arbitration panel from reviewing 12 million dollars (£7.2m) in bonuses the cyclist was paid before admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Judge Tonya Parker refused to stop the panel from considering whether Dallas-based SCA Promotions should be repaid the bonuses it awarded Armstrong for three of his seven Tour de France victories.

Jeff Tillotson, a lawyer for SCA Promotions, said the panel would meet on March 17 to discuss his request that Armstrong forfeit prize money from those races and penalise him for committing perjury.

SCA Promotions filed one of several lawsuits against Armstrong after he admitted to doping. He has been stripped of all seven victories and received a lifetime ban from the sport.

SCA and Armstrong reached a 2006 settlement in arbitration after allegations surfaced that Armstrong was using banned drugs to win races. Armstrong vehemently denied the claims during arbitration, as he did for more than a decade.

After Armstrong acknowledged last year that he had been lying, SCA went to court and then back to the original three-member panel. The panel voted 2-1 in October to review the case.

SCA's lawsuit quotes Armstrong's repeated denials in sworn evidence. Mr Tillotson argued last week that Armstrong "lied at every step of the way", making it necessary for the panel to review the settlement.

Armstrong's lawyers argued before Judge Parker last week that the panel no longer had authority to review the settlement once it was signed - even if SCA could demonstrate that Armstrong lied under oath.