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Lance Armstrong reaches settlement in fraud case

The lawsuit brought by Acceptance Insurance sought repayment of $3 million “in undeserved and unearned pay.”

Armstrong: will face further legal challenges.
Armstrong: will face further legal challenges.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire/Press Association Images

DISGRACED CYCLIST LANCE Armstrong reached a settlement in one of the fraud cases spawned by his confession that his Tour De France victories were fuelled by doping.

Mark Kincaid, an attorney for Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance, confirmed the company had reached a settlement with Armstrong but gave no details.

The company sued Armstrong and the Tailwind Sports Corporation in March claiming the cyclist committed fraud by concealing his use of performance enhancing drugs during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours.

The lawsuit sought repayment of $3 million “in undeserved and unearned pay Lance Armstrong obtained by fraud,” the suit filed in Travis County Court in Austin, Texas, said.

The payment cited was a $3 million bonus paid to Armstrong for his first three Tour victories.

USA Today reported the agreement reached between the parties allowed Armstrong to avoid a scheduled deposition in which he would have been asked to talk under oath about his doping practices.

Armstrong has not given sworn testimony since he admitted to US television host Oprah Winfrey in January that he doped throughout a career that saw him win the Tour de France seven times.

The former cycling star has been stripped of those victories and handed a life ban from the sport.

Armstrong has other legal battles looming. On Monday, he asked a federal judge to dismiss the US government’s fraud case against him, claiming prosecutors missed statute of limitations deadlines to file.

Armstrong has also been sued by Texas-based insurance company SCA Promotions over other bonus payments, a case that has gone to arbitration.

Armstrong testified under oath in a 2005 lawsuit after SCA withheld a bonus payment over then-unproven doping allegations and the company paid Armstrong $7 million that it has demanded back.

In August, Armstrong settled a lawsuit with Britain’s Sunday Times over the damages the newspaper was forced to pay due to its report that he had used banned substances.

A lawsuit brought by irked readers of his autobiographies, however, has been dismissed.

- © AFP, 2013

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