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Monday 14, Jul 2014

  Lance Armstrong Grilled Under Oath

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Lance Armstrong was recently forced to provide sworn videotaped testimony about his doping history. The deposition day for the disgraced former cyclist came as part of a fraud case filed against him by SCA Promotions, a sports insurance company in Dallas.

Armstrong made a request to the Texas appeals court and the Texas Supreme Court for stopping the deposition from happening but his request was rejected by both courts. This forced the ex-cyclist to provide answers to questions raised by SCA Promotions attorney Jeffrey Tillotson, who is the sole opposing attorney to interview Lance Armstrong under oath about doping. Tillotson also questioned the cyclist under oath when he denied doping and lied about using banned performance enhancing drugs in 2005-06.

SCA Promotions has filed the lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and is seeking the return of $12 million in costs and bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour de France in 2002-04. This case was thereafter moved to arbitration and a panel is expected to hear the case after some weeks. Lance Armstrong was subpoenaed for the deposition as part of the process for gathering evidence before the hearing.

The cyclist is also facing a separate fraud lawsuit filed by the federal government. In this case, prosecutors are seeking more than $96 million from Lance Armstrong and Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis, who accused Armstrong of doping and encouraging doping within the USPS team, and may get a share any award under the U.S. whistleblower law. The cyclist was expected to testify under oath at a June 23 deposition in Austin but the judge in this whistleblower suit accusing Lance Armstrong put on hold a deposition of the former cyclist. Originally brought by former teammate Floyd Landis in June 2010, this lawsuit was joined in part by the Justice Department in February 2013. Singer Sheryl Crow, the former girlfriend of Armstrong, is listed as a government witness besides Armstrong’s ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong. Cyclists Frankie Andreu, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, and Floyd Landis may be part of a list of potential witnesses against Armstrong. The case is U.S. v. Tailwind Sports Corp., 10-cv-00976, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

The 42-year-old former cyclist, who won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles, was banned for life and stripped of his Tour de France victories after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found Armstrong guilty of using banned drugs. Armstrong later confessed to doping in January last year during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong sued SCA Promotions in 2004 by claiming a breach of contract after the sports insurance company refused to pay his bonus for winning the Tour de France. SCA Promotions withheld the payment and claimed Lance Armstrong cheated to win the race. In a testimony in 2005, the ex-cyclist said he “never” used performance enhancing drugs and race the bike straight up fair and square. With help of the false testimony, Armstrong was able to win a $7.5 million settlement from the company in 2006. Terms of the settlement agreement stipulated that this case could not be reopened.

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Sunday 31, Mar 2013

  Disgraced Cyclist Faces Possible Criminal Case In Spain

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Disgraced Cyclist Faces Possible Criminal Case In Spain

American former professional road racing cyclist Lance Armstrong is being investigated for possible criminal charges in Spain.

According to sources in the United States and Spain, the investigation relates to the doping activities of the disgraced cyclist who was accused by the United States Anti-Doping Agency of enforcing “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

It is believed the crimes may have been committed in Spain, a country often accused of being soft on doping, and they are under investigation to decide if charges should be brought by the winner of the seven consecutive Tour de France titles and Spanish associates who worked with him on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. The investigation is ongoing in multiple regions of Spain — Alicante, Valencia, Girona, and Tenerife and is described as being in a “very active and sensitive” phase.

The cyclist was a resident of Girona, Spain, for many years during his reign as the Tour de France champion. He lived in Spain with the singer Sheryl Crow in 2004 and his former teammate, Floyd Landis, said during that period he babysat the cyclist’s “blood fridge” in Spain to make sure the temperature remained constant when the Texan rider traveled out of town with the singer.

Spanish laws don’t make it a crime for athletes to use performance enhancing drugs for personal use though they be fined and their licenses may get suspended in some cases. However, the cyclist may get into bigger trouble if investigators can prove trafficking, distribution, and commercialization of doping drugs that carry a prison term of two years and fines of as much as 400,000 euros.

Lance Edward Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 but was later disqualified from those races and received a lifetime ban from cycling for doping offenses. The cyclist was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996 that had spread to his brain and lungs and was declared cancer-free in February 1997 after undergoing cancer treatments including brain and testicular surgery and extensive chemotherapy. The 41-year-old rider was a member of the US Postal/Discovery team between 1998 and 2005 and retired from racing at the end of the 2005 Tour de France, but returned to competitive cycling with the Astana team in January 2009.

In 1992, he began his career as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team and his breakthrough victory was the 1993 UCI Road World Championship held in Norway. Lance Armstrong became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne and finished 6th in the time trial and 12th in the road race in the 1996 Olympic Games. The American cyclist announced his retirement from competitive cycling on February 16, 2011, while still facing a US federal investigation into doping allegations. After denying doping allegations for a big part of his career, Lance Armstrong admitted to using drugs throughout his career and said he used EPO, blood transfusions, and testosterone but remarked he stopped doping for his 2009 and 2010 comeback Tour de France rides.

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Wednesday 31, Oct 2012

  No Respite For Disgraced Cyclist, Loses Key To The City Of Adelaide

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No respite for disgraced cyclist, loses key to the city of adelaide

 

The woes of seven-time Tour de France winner and disgraced cyclist, Lance Armstrong, are increasing with every passing day. After being banned by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) and stripped of all his titles, the cyclist has just lost the key to the City of Adelaide.

Adelaide City Council, in an unprecedented move, voted to withdraw the honor for Armstrong less than a year after it decided to award the key. The council voted 6-1 for stripping the cyclist of the honor with Tony Williamson dissenting. With this, the cyclist becomes the first of 33 key recipients to lose the honor. A week back, Lord Mayor Stephen Yarwood said the cyclist would be retaining the key since he had raised the profile of the Tour Down Under and cancer research. However, the council is expected to remove the cyclist’s name from its honor board rather than physically retrieve the key. This move came after a vandal splattered red paint on the poster of the banned cyclist above the Nike shop in Rundle Mall.

In the last few weeks, Lance Armstrong has lost much of his legacy with major sponsors like Nike, and even some smaller ones like Anheuser-Busch and Trek bicycles dropping the cyclist. If that was not all, a previously unheard sworn deposition from New Zealand rider Stephen Swart in a 2006 American court case is back to haunt the cyclist. Swart alleged that Armstrong and members of his USPS team bribed him and his team to throw the final two legs of a series of races in 1993. It was alleged that the cyclist offered a bribe of $50,000 to Swart and his team to not “be aggressive and challenge,” in the last two races. Swart said that he could not understand why the cyclist made such an offer as he would have won anyway and added that they got their money a few weeks after his victory. It is believed that legendary Australian cyclist and former Armstrong mentor Phil Anderson were allegedly in the hotel room when the bribery deal was made between the two and Anderson said he could not recall such a deal but denied it happening either.

His ex-fiancee Sheryl Crow was also interviewed by federal agents in late 2011 after multiple witnesses encouraged them to press her for information about the cyclist and the doping program that propped up his Tour de France teams. This was after many witnesses said Crow would have been privy to details about the blood transfusions the cyclist is accused of orchestrating. The cyclist was even accused of encouraging teammates to use performance enhancing drugs and replacing cyclists who refused to use those drugs. Armstrong has still maintained his innocence but decided to abandon his legal challenge to the USADA while those who were made victims of his strong-arm tactics feel relieved and vindicated after the USADA report brought an end to the phony empire of wealth, adulation, and power that was believed to be protected at all costs.

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