To protect his mythic status as an American sports hero, Lance Armstrong lied under oath in 2005, saying he never used performance-enhancing drugs. An arbitration panel in Texas ruled it’s time for him to pay for it, handing down a $10 million penalty believed to be the largest such sanction against an individual in American judicial history.
In a 2-1 decision, the panel ordered the disgraced cyclist to pay the money to SCA Promotions, a Dallas sports insurance company that paid Armstrong’s bonuses for winning the Tour de France and then helped cause his epic fall from grace in 2012.
“Perjury must never be profitable,” the panel wrote in its ruling.
The panel said Armstrong and Tailwind Sports, the company that managed Armstrong’s cycling team, “used perjury and other wrongful conduct to secure millions of dollars of benefits.” The panel also found Armstrong and Tailwind “expressed no remorse to the panel for their wrongful conduct and continued to lie to the panel throughout the final hearing even while admitting to prior falsehoods and other wrongful conduct.”
Armstrong’s attorney, Tim Herman, indicated his client would fight in court to have the decision nullified on the basis that the parties reached a final and binding settlement in the case in 2006.
“This award is unprecedented,” Herman said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports. “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 (in 2006).”
The company, which announced the decision Monday, said it believes the amount of the sanction is unprecedented. The sanction differs from a civil judgment in part because it’s defined as a sanction against Armstrong for lying under oath during a previous dispute between the parties in front of the same arbitration panel.
SCA also filed court papers asking a Texas judge to declare the arbitration panel’s award a final judgment so the company can collect payment.
SOURCE: Brent Schrotenboer