Articles matching tag: Cycling
- Post: Feds Join Armstrong SuitFebruary 23, 2013
The Justice Department has decided to join Floyd Landis’ suit against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Landis filed his suit under the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to act as whistle-blowers and sue to recover money allegedly obtained from the federal government through fraud. If successful, the plaintiff is allowed to keep up to 30% of the amount recovered if the government elects not to join in the action and up to 25% if the government joins the suit.
The addition of the government adds some firepower to Landis’ claims. He no longer has to finance the suit out of his own pocket and thanks to taxpayers, the government’s resources are unlimited. But that doesn’t mean the suit is now a slam dunk. There are a number of legal and evidentiary hurdles the government must overcome, including whether the U.S. Postal Service – the agency that sponsored Armstrong’s cycling team – was damaged by Armstrong’s use of PEDs. Armstrong’s attorneys maintain that the USPS received more than a $100 million in publicity during the years Armstrong was winning the Tour de France. That figure is significant because although the USPS paid $30 million to sponsor Armstrong’s team, the False Claims Act allows the plaintiff to recover treble damages.
This is a suit that cries out for a settlement. Armstrong still has his supporters and selecting an impartial jury will be problematic. On the other hand, Armstrong can’t afford a judgment that could wipe out his fortune, not after losing all of his sponsors when the United States Anti-Doping Agency issued its scathing report last fall that claimed the cyclist lied for years about his drug use.
- Post: Armstrong Sued by SCAFebruary 9, 2013
The legal fallout from Lance Armstrong’s doping admission has begun. SCA Promotions, Inc., the Texas company that insures sports promotions, has brought suit to recover $12 million in bonuses, interest and legal fees it paid for Armstrong’s 2002-04 Tour de France wins.
SCA initially refused to pay Armstrong’s management company, Tailwind Sports, Inc. $5 million in performance bonuses. Tailwind brought suit against SCA and as part of the litigation, Armstrong swore under oath during a deposition that he had never used PEDs. Despite the fact Armstrong retracted that denial in a televised interview with Oprah, SCA has an uphill battle to recover the $7.5 million it paid Tailwind, plus interest on that amount.
First, the insurance contract was between Tailwind and SCA, not Armstrong. Because he was not a party to the contract, Armstrong has no obligation to SCA. Second, the settlement in the case included the standard language that SCA made payment in full satisfaction of the claim and the case could not be reopened by either side.
- Column: Armstrong's ConfessionJanuary 21, 2013
Here are several of my takeaways from Lance Armstrong’s sit-down with Oprah. Full confession: I have never been an Oprah fan. Her self-promoting style – the name of her network, Oprah Winfrey Network, says it all – has always been a turnoff for me. But her two- part interview with Armstrong was nothing short of masterful. Oprah was in control from start to finish. She led off by asking Armstrong to respond with one word answers – yes or no – to the key questions everyone tuned in to hear: Did you dope? Did you use EPO? Armstrong was put on the defensive from the outset, and it allowed Oprah to set the tone for the entire interview. Oprah was no Mike Wallace, whose fawning interview of Roger Clemens on 60 Minutes was a love-fest. Wallace has a reputation as an aggressive interviewer who drills his subject matter until he/she becomes uncomfortable. But he played the role of a fan and let Clemens off the hook repeatedly. And Clemens wasn’t nearly the challenge that Armstrong was. The cyclist is smarter, more devious, evasive, and measured in his responses than his PED-consuming baseball counterpart. Oprah repeatedly asked pointed follow up questions and rarely backed down until Armstrong responded directly.
- COLUMN: Government Closes Armstrong InvestigationFebruary 6, 2012
Whoever said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, wasn’t referring to the federal government. Last week federal prosecutors announced they were abandoning their almost two-year investigation of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong on doping-related charges.