• Cycling

Armstrong facing multi-million dollar fight

ESPN staff
October 23, 2012 « 'Panicked' Fergie to hand Ferdinand new contract | Chartbeat test »
Lance Armstrong no longer lists himself as a seven-time Tour de France champion on Twitter

Lance Armstrong could be set for a major financial shortfall as the International Cycling Union (UCI) considers whether to retrieve the American's winnings from his seven Tour de France titles.

The UCI confirmed on Monday that Armstrong's Tour de France achievements would be deleted after it ratified the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

Armstrong has since reacted to the news by altering his Twitter profile, which no longer lists him as a seven-time Tour de France champion.

The UCI management committee is now set to meet on Friday to discuss the financial implications of Armstrong's involvement in what has been deemed a "sophisticated doping programme". The possibility exists that the 41-year-old may be forced to pay back all winnings and bonuses from races in which he is deemed to have cheated.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: "The formal decision has to be taken by the UCI but for us, we must have a clean record. This period must be marked by the absence of winners.

"The UCI rules are clear. When a rider is disqualified, he must pay the prize money back."

The knock-on effects for Armstrong are proving to be far-reaching, with Nike already distancing themselves from the shamed cyclist while SCA Promotions claims it is owed £4.7 million for a bonus payment paid to the American.

SCA actually paid a total of £7.4 million in bonuses over a period of years, but will focus efforts on the £3 million payment made to Armstrong in 2006. Failed court action at the time added £1.7 million to that figure, but now it plans to recoup the money.

Jeff Tillotson, lawyer for SCA Promotions, said: "It is inappropriate and improper for him to keep those bonus amounts and we will be demanding them back and pursuing appropriate legal action if he does not return them."

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