New York, Feb 17: Former American cyclist Lance Armstrong must pay $10 million in damages after losing a lawsuit with insurance firm SCA Promotions Inc.
In relation to his seven Tour de France victories, the cyclist had received $7.5 million in payment from SCA in 2006. Much later, Armstrong admitted to doping and was found to have lied in proceedings, following which his victories were stripped off, reports the BBC.
"The award, which must be paid directly to SCA, is believed to be the largest award of sanctions assessed against an individual in American judicial history," SCA said.
After Armstrong’s sixth Tour de France win in 2004, SCA at first refused to pay the bonus. The former dragged the company to an arbitration hearing in Dallas in 2005 and won because the contract between the parties stipulated that the insurance money would be payable if Armstrong was the "official winner" of the Tour.
He was awarded $2.5 million dollars in damages and costs.
"SCA's dispute with Armstrong is not over. It has a currently pending lawsuit in Dallas state district court where it is pursuing additiol claims against Lance Armstrong and Bill Stapleton (Armstrong's agent)," said the firm.
In 2012, Armstrong was stripped off all his seven Tour de France titles and issued a life ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The Texan was accused of being part of the "most sophisticated, professiolised and successful doping programme" that sport had ever known.
"It is hard to describe how much harm Lance Armstrong's web of lies caused SCA but this is a good first start towards repairing that damage," said Bob Hamman, SCA Promotions president and founder.
Jeff Tillotson, SCA's promotions lawyer, added: "This record-breaking award was justified given Armstrong's outrageous conduct." IANS