Keeping Score

Can It Get Any Worse For Lance Armstrong?

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Bryn Lennon / Getty Images

Lance Armstrong rides in the 2005 Tour de France, July 24, 2005.

Can things get any worse for Lance Armstrong? Most definitely.

Armstrong got hit with another double-dose of bad news on Monday. Cycling’s world governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), officially stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. “Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling … He deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” UCI president Pat McQuaid said in a news conference. McQuaid said he was “sickened” by the revelations in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s report.

(This claim, incidentally, rang hollow to vindicated journalist David Walsh, whom Armstrong sued for writing a book about Armstrong’s alleged doping. McQuaid, after all, could have more thoroughly investigated the suspicions about Armstrong, and reached a similar conclusion to USADA).

After the UCI’s decision was released, Oakley, the sunglasses and sports wear maker, became the latest company to dump Armstrong.

(MORE: Travis Tygart, Lance Armstrong’s Ahab)

Armstrong has lost his titles, his sponsors, and his chairmanship of cancer awareness charity Livestrong. Now, he could lose some cash — in lawsuits. The Sunday Times of London, which published an article referencing Walsh’s book, L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong, in 2004, is considering suing Armstrong over a libel case the cyclist brought against the paper back in the mid-2000s. Armstrong won that case and reached a financial settlement with the paper: now that evidence has emerged that Armstrong indeed doped, the paper is “considering taking action to recover money spent on a libel case Armstrong brought and to pursue him for fraud.”

And the money woes continue. It’s been reported that Armstrong will need to repay his Tour de France winnings, estimated at $3.85 million, with Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme describing the UCI decision as “totally logical.” And a Texas promotional company that paid Armstrong millions in bonus money, for winning the Tour de France, may look to get that money back, now that Armstrong isn’t a champion. As Reuters reports:

Dallas-based SCA Promotions paid Armstrong $7.5 million for winning his sixth Tour title in 2004 – $5 million as a performance bonus and $2.5 million in interest and attorney fees – as part of a 2006 legal settlement. Armstrong had sued SCA when it withheld the payment after doping allegations against him surfaced.

Tailwind Sports, the owner of Armstrong’s U.S. Postal team, had promised the cyclist a $5 million bonus if he won a sixth Tour title and it took out insurance coverage with SCA.

In all, SCA Promotions paid Armstrong some $12 million, the company’s lawyer Jeffrey Dorough said.

It was unclear exactly how much SCA may seek to recover.

“Mr. Armstrong is no longer the official winner of any Tour de France races, and as a result it is inappropriate and improper for him to retain any bonus payments made by SCA,” Dorough said in a statement.

He said SCA Promotions was “digesting the UCI’s decision” and that the company was taking into consideration the possibility that Armstrong or the World Anti-Doping Agency could appeal.

In February, the U.S. dropped a federal criminal investigation into Armstrong’s doping. Now the USADA has uncovered what seems to be new evidence against Armstrong, could the feds reopen the case? Armstrong has testified, under oath, that he did not dope, leaving him susceptible to a perjury charge. “I would be shocked if the case wasn’t reopened,” says Peter Keane, ex-dean of the Golden Gate University School of Law. Keane has closely followed doping trials against professional athletes. “I’d imagine that there is a fair amount of lobbying amongst investigators to rev it up. For career investigators and prosecutors, there’s the thrill of the hunt. They want a trophy case on their wall.” Especially since high-profile doping cases against Roger Clemens, who was acquitted, and Barry Bonds, who was found guilty of obstruction of justice, but escaped perjury, didn’t go the government’s way.

For Armstrong, the pain might just be beginning.

MORE: Rip Lance, But Don’t Rip Livestrong

49 comments
lgnabeach
lgnabeach

Answer this:  Will Time still list Lance as among its 2008 Time Magazine: Top 100 Most Inspiring People?    Lance still uses this listing in his bios.   

lgnabeach
lgnabeach

He's still listed as: 2008 Time Magazine: Top 100 Most Inspiring People

DrewPant
DrewPant

@KellyTilghmanGC Lance cheated, he brought bit on himself. Great article, thanks

sdalton2000
sdalton2000

Are you kidding? He's still rich regardless of how much he pays and he's also still CANCER FREE. For a person who's escaped death after having stage iV cancer, it can get a lot worse and this is a bump in the road.

Adevarul
Adevarul

Uh...Yes!  He could wake up tomorrow with a letter from his doctor saying that he needs treatment for clap.  He could find out that his only endorsement is a $100 deal for "Live Wrong" bracelets.  He could learn that all his sponsors and team mates are launching a class action suit against him.  He could find out that the tail he's interested in is sleeping with SLJ.  He might discover that....LOL!

DebbieR
DebbieR

He robbed other competitors of a possibly win and glory that comes from winning.  If he had admitted early on, took his punishment and then go back to racing he could have possibly still accomplished much.  But he earned fame and fortune on a huge lie and at the expense of honest competitors.  That is something he can't pay back and something no amount of punishment can fix.   He is a disgrace.

breindrein
breindrein

He is like the milli vanilli of cycling, but still, doping can only boost you so far. He has some serious skill and is still one of the greatest cyclists ever.

hueuncool
hueuncool

Someone tell me what exactly is the "doping" substance or substances that made it past all the piss and blood tests? And how did it give Mr. Armstrong an advantage over the other Tour de France dopers? Seems like likes of people wanting to hang the man before any evidence is brought forward.

chokingkojak
chokingkojak

We've gotta give Armstrong credit.  The guy went to the wall -- suit here, suit there, suit here, suit over there  -- to buttress his long-standing "no smack" claim.   What a media "cathedral" he and his people built over a decade or more...

However, if Armstrong didn't win the Tour de France 7 times, it would have probably been some Italian or French dudes winning it.  Who the hell want's that?  Our guy raced better, drugged better and, until recently, boxed out "the heat" better   -- end of story. 

But we all want the trip to "Bohica Bay": "oh sure, TdF will tighten up the rules, much more stringent drug testing, etc. etc. and everybody will be clean from now on, sure most of the linemen in the NFL will drop the  HGH/Insulin injections that beat the roid "sniffers" if there's a few more white coats,  sure the yayo/speed freaks on Wall Street (not "Main Street") will "come to Jesus" thanks to more aggressive regulation...

Wrong.  

MikeRudinsky
MikeRudinsky

""Can It Get Any Worse For Lance Armstrong?"

Yes, now I want him to return his money, including the 8 million NIKE pays him every year to wear yellow clothing advertising his own boondoggle.  This guy is a SOB....

SmoothEdward
SmoothEdward

Could it get any worse for Armstrong? Sure, he could lose his other nut.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

Notre Dame is so overrated....no way they should be in the top 5.  Schedule Schedule Schedule.  Oh, sorry.......so about Lance....why cant they just do what baseball does and have a "Doping Era"?

DennisCultice
DennisCultice

@KellyTilghmanGC Just read an article about Ashtyn Brown's internship at the Golf Channel in the Indiana golf mag. Great read!

salliemae
salliemae

I love lance.  He's still my hero and seven-time champion on  a level playing field.

sfreemangolf
sfreemangolf

@KellyTilghmanGC it's coming to light that regardless of all good that Lance did with Livestrong, he is the ultimate dirtbag!

TrajanSaldana
TrajanSaldana

I haven't been following this closely so, other than testimony, has the US anti-doping agency or anyone else provided actual physical proof of Lance Armstrong "doping" as is alleged? ANY physical evidence at all?

DJofSanDiego
DJofSanDiego

@KellyTilghmanGC USADA new evidence -- let's see it. Used to be innocent until proven guilty, now, it appears to be hear-say is good 'nuf.

dkmkc2000
dkmkc2000

@TIME Lance is latest scapegoat under the Obama administration for doping. It's just to make America look bad, and take money to spread.

kellyliu23
kellyliu23

@rbakes05 Yikes, hard times for Lance ... RT @TIME Can it get any worse for Lance Armstrong? (Yes, yes it can) | http://t.co/NiFbiCfj

ErryKop
ErryKop

@TIME when it rains, its pours.. and the pain might just be beginning.

WsStephenson
WsStephenson

@TIME Lance Armstrong is only barred from competing on a bicycle he can still ride a tricycle. He won't fall off so often either. #BBC #SKY

roberto200579
roberto200579

@TIME he got what he deserved, he should be arrested too, he's a scammer and he built an empire on a lie!

Topus007
Topus007

@TIME ...A great lesson for the Get Rich In the Dark Candidates...Sadly...

braches3
braches3

@TIME How is it possible ? It is very sad !

robertholt72
robertholt72

Perhaps we should always be a little suspicious when a sports figure, all of a sudden, starts accomplishing a lot of fantastic feats. I hope they give the winning titles of the seven Tour de France races that Lance Armstrong has been stripped of, to the first person in line that didn’t cheat. I don’t think it would be fair to them to not get the winning title since they played by the rules. I don’t think it would be fair for nobody to have won those seven times.

gorsafcanolog
gorsafcanolog

eader.roopstigo.com/view/roopster/story/595#/chapter/1/

eifg
eifg

I don't think he should repay the Tour winnings.  Regardless of his doping the Tour still profited by having him and all the other doping riders participate in the races.  Is the Tour then going to refund the money to their sponsors and the TV networks who paid to carry the races?

dbartenstein
dbartenstein

I would say that, if these agencies are indeed as "fair" as they saythey are, they investigate and punish ALL cyclists as thoroughly as theyhave Lance Armstrong.  Lance's actions may be wrong, but he is mostcertainly not the only person in the world of cycling who has doped.

ironyman2
ironyman2

Get any worse? That's up to Armstrong. He brought all his current grief upon himself. Now he'll join a not-so-exclusive club of sports figures who once were kings but fell from grace. Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, Ben Rothlieberger - they've all come back. But not really. Their former fans and admirers now understand who and what they really are.

OdraSerrot
OdraSerrot

@salliemae By 'level playing field' you mean every cyclist had access to the same drugs, access to the same doctors and had the same amount of money? If that was the case I'd agree with you.

phantom1076
phantom1076

@DJofSanDiego Uhm 1000 pages are up for reading, try to Google it.

beanbagboy
beanbagboy

@BrettScales that is just wrong. Evil. Wrong... *stifles laughter*

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

@robertholt72 Heh I think they would have to go a loooong way down the list to find a Tour De France calibre cyclist that is 100% 'clean'.  And what is clean anyway?  Every day pharmacists invent new 'supplements' that will probably be banned in the future but until then are fair game.  'Doping' is a matter of timing and technicality more than anything, and it's an unsolvable problem as long as there is physical competition at all.  Fun Fact: Did you know that the first Olympic Games, the original ancient Olympic Games in classical Greek and Roman times were every bit as plagued with 'doping' problems as the modern games?

ironyman3
ironyman3

@dbartenstein you must not follow cycling very closely.  Every cyclist who ever shared a Tour de France podium with Armstrong has already been busted for drugs.  That is part of why his tour wins were so implausible.

osato
osato

Tiger Woods and Michael Vick had personal issues, they did not cheat, they did nothing to 'enhance' their talent. Same cannot be said of Lance Armstrong, so please do not paint them with the same brush.

I do not know who Ben Rothlieberger is.

Ben Rothlieberger

beanbagboy
beanbagboy

@BrettScales too funny. Wrong, but funny. We're going straight to hell, aren't we

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