Armstrong scandal: ASO and SCA ask for their money back, Oakley finally pull plug

Tour organiser and Texan insurance co first in the queue for refunds as UCI confirms USADA sanctions

by Simon_MacMichael   October 22, 2012  

Lance Armstrong Giro 2009 (pic courtesy Photosport International)

No sooner had the UCI endorsed USADA's decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles (and long before UCI president, Pat McQuaid had stopped speaking), the fallout began again for the disgraced rider - Oakley promptly dropped him, Tour organisers ASO said they wanted their money back, and SCA Promotions said it would be going after the beleaguered Texan for $7.5 million.

None of this can have been a surprise to Armstrong or his advisors. While Oakley said it would stand by him last week, it made clear that if the UCI ratified USADA's sanction that would be the end - the Californian sunglasses maker will however continue to back the Livestrong charity.

In a statement released as soon as the UCI made its announcement, Oakley said:

"Based on UCI's decision and the overwhelming evidence that USADA presented, Oakley has severed its long-standing relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately.

"When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility. We are deeply saddened by the outcome but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest.

"We believe the Livestrong Foundation has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals."

Of possibly greater concern to Armstrong than having to hand back his Racingjackets is the news that SCA Promotions and Tour organisers ASO are the first in what is probably going to be a long line of companies, organisations, and individuals asking for their money back.

SCA's demand is the most interesting and the least unexpected. The fallout from Armstrong's earlier legal tussle with the Texan insurance company - which he eventually won - provided one of the central planks of the USADA's evidence against him most notably Betsy Andreu's affidavit that she was in the room when Armstrong admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs when asked by a doctor about his past medial history prior to cancer treatment.

Jeffrey M. Tillotson, SCA's lawyer told the BBC that: "We will make a formal demand for return of funds." He added: "If this is not successful, we will initiate formal legal proceedings against Mr Armstrong in five business days (Monday 29 October)."

Armstrong originally sued SCA after it refused to pay out on an insurance policy taken out by Tailwind Sports (of which Armstrong was co-owner) against performance bonuses that would be due to the rider should he win the Tour de France.

SCA refused to pay Armstrong arguing that he had not been riding clean when he won. The insurance company lost the case because their contract with Tailwind stipulated that they would have to pay if Armstrong was the official winner of the Tour.

It' also worth bearing in mind that the fact that Armstrong gave evidence under oath in that case could potentially give rise to perjury charges.

The UCI's acceptance of USADA's stripping Armstrong of his Tour titles means that as of today those words no longer hold true - and SCA are entitled to ask for their money back.

Equally quick off the mark were Tour organisers ASO with race director, Christian Prudhomme who said: "It's without surprise that we received today's news, it's totally logical. Lance Armstrong is no longer the winner of the Tour de France from 1999-2005".

Prudhomme went on to restate ASO's intention that the 1999 - 2005 Tours should go down in the record books as having no winner - he did not comment about what would be done about the American's 2009 podium place, whether there will be not third placed rider or whether Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, then with Garmin-Transitions, will be elevated from fourth place.

He did though say that ASO will be asking Armstrong - whose highest Tour de France placing is now 36th overall - for their money back.

"The UCI rules are clear: when a rider loses his title, he must reimburse his winnings," Prudhomme said before concluding with masterful understatement: "We would have preferred that none of this had happened."

9 user comments

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Ha, class. Lets hope a few more join the queue and want their money back.

You know what will happen next - BOOK TIME !

Armstrong will sell his soul in book form to pay off his debts and name everyone involved.

McQuaid will be getting worried now, lol Big Grin Big Grin

If you must break the law, do it to seize power: in all other cases observe it. Gaius Julius Caesar.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2630 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:11

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He could call his next book 'It's definitely not about the bike'

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [476 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:39

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the wolves move in to get what's left of the kill ....

posted by Karbon Kev [663 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 20:46

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[grabs popcorn and sits back to watch]

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2867 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 22:14

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Couldn't happen to a nicer bloke from what I've heard Kev....

posted by Colin Peyresourde [1056 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 22:15

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I like the way fat pat only gave an interview to David Bond of the BBC. Evidently he knew if he had a chat with that mug he could avoid the tough questions and try and bluff the wider public.

posted by georgee [131 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 22:48

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As has been said before, Armstrong won't admit it if it means he'd get done for perjury. Expect silence and, if he thinks he'll have to pay up, quiet payments made subject to settlement agreements (at least with the insurance company - but perhaps not with ASO), but no admissions of anything.

posted by step-hent [644 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 9:46

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posted by Seoige [104 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 10:02

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I might not look to sell my Radars and Jawbones at a knock down price now.

jimmythecuckoo's picture

posted by jimmythecuckoo [1206 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 12:17

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