Armstrong case: Sunday Times and SCA Promotions considering options
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Armstrong case: Sunday Times and SCA Promotions considering options

by Shane Stokes at 9:46 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Companies which previously made legal settlements may fight back

SCA PromotionsTwo companies which were forced to pay legal settlements to Lance Armstrong during his career have confirmed that they are currently monitoring the situation and may take action at a later point to recoup the sums paid.

Both the Sunday Times and SCA Promotions have watched USADA’s case against the rider with interest. Now, with Armstrong deciding not to contest the charges, USADA has handed him a lifetime ban and stripped him of his seven Tour titles.

The UCI and WADA are currently awaiting further documentation on the matter, and USADA has also said that the evidence will be made public.

VeloNation today contacted Sunday Times sports editor Alex Butler, who said the newspaper sees taking action as an option.

“It is still under consideration at the moment,” he said. “He sued the Sunday Times after we persisted in raising question about doping in cycling. The litigation was subsequently settled, but may well now be challenged in the light of the investigation by the USADA.”

The settlement was agreed in 2006, and the Sunday Times paid out sum believed to be £400,000.

The Texas insurance company SCA Promotions is also weighing up its options at the moment. It was the subject of a hotly-contested court action between 2004 and 2006, arising from an insurance policy taken out by US Postal Service team owner Tailwind Sports during Armstrong’s winning streak of Tour successes.

That policy was to cover the performance bonuses that would be due to the rider when he won the Tour. $5 million was payable after he won his sixth Tour title in 2004 but, on the basis of the doping claims made in the LA Confidentiel book, SCA refused to pay out on the grounds that the Tour wins may not have been clean.

Armstrong took legal action and eventually won because the original SCA Promotions contract didn’t include stipulations about doping. The company ended up paying the sum in question as well as an additional $2.5 million in interest and legal fees.

In June company CEO Bob Hamman confirmed that he was monitoring the USADA case with interest. Yesterday, the company gave its position at this moment in time.

“SCA fully supports both USADA’s mission to combat doping in the world of sport and the fair and transparent arbitration process it uses to do so; and Mr. Armstrong’s refusal to participate in this process is curious given the stakes involved,” it told VeloNation.

“At this time, SCA shall continue to monitor these events and explore any legal options it may have with respect to this matter.”

The UCI said yesterday that it was awaiting a reasoned decision explaining the action taken by USADA. It and WADA have the right to appeal the sanction to CAS if they see fit, although WADA has previously backed USADA in the current case.

Providing the stripping of the titles remains in place, it would appear that the payment of the $7.5 million sum could be refundable under law.

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