In the latest blow to his hopes of a quiet life in retirement, Lance Armstrong’s request to dismiss a court case against him has been refused by a Texas judge.
Acceptance Insurance Holdings guaranteed Armstrong’s win bonuses for his Tour de france victories in 1999, 2000 and 2001 when he was riding for the US Postal team run by Tailwind Sports.
Now the insurance company wants its $3 million back after Armstrong confessed in January to using performance-enhancing drugs in all of his Tour de France victories.
Armstrong’s lawyers argued that the case should be dismissed because because the statute of limitations for fraud and breach of contract claims expired by 2011.
Acceptance Insurance said the statute of limitations period did not start until Armstrong admitted cheating.
On Monday, Travis County Judge Darlene Byrne denied Armstrong's request to dismiss.
Acceptance attorney Mark Kincaid said the company intends to call Armstrong as its first witness and to question him under oath.
Armstrong has avoided testifying under oath since his confession, and has maintained that he did not dope during his 2009-2011 comeback. If he admits under oath that he also doped in the period, he opens the door to more lawsuits.
Armstrong is already facing several lawsuits relating to his Tour de France victories and other aspects his former team’s activities. A federal case against Armstrong is seeking to recover $40 million paid by the US Postal Service.
Armstrong is also being sued by SCA Promotions, which guaranteed his later Tour de France bonuses, and the Sunday Times, which settled a libel case out of court with Armstrong in 2006.
Armstrong’s total liability if all the suits find against him is estimated at $135 million dollars. His personal net worth is estimated at $125 million.
Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc editor Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013 and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.