Armstrong asked to return $7.5m

A Texas insurance company is demanding the return of $7.5m (£4.7m) in bonuses from cyclist Lance Armstrong.

SCA Promotions covered a performance bonus paid to the American after he won his sixth Tour de France in 2004.

Now that

the International Cycling Union (UCI) has stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles,

SCA will demand the money back from Armstrong.

SCA’s lawyer Jeffrey M. Tillotson told BBC Sport: “We will make a formal demand for return of funds.”

He added: “If this is not successful, we will initiate formal legal proceedings against Mr Armstrong in five business days (Monday 29 October).”

The insurance policy was taken out by Tailwind Sports, the then owner of the US Postal team, to cover performance bonuses that would be due to Armstrong if he won the Tour.

SCA refused to pay out the money because it argued Armstrong was not a clean rider.

Armstrong took legal action against the company and won, because the contract between the parties stipulated that the money would be payable if Armstrong was the “official winner” of the Tours from 2004 to 2006.

The company was forced to pay money relating to the bonus of $5m, plus $2.5m in interest and legal fees.

SCA will now attempt to recover that sum from Armstrong.

Tillotson added: “This is not a happy day for my client, but he feels Lance Armstrong has brought this upon himself.”

On Monday, the UCI ratified the decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour titles – meaning the Texan can no longer be considered the “official winner” of those titles.

Usada had uncovered evidence that Armstrong was involved in “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme” in the history of sport.

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