The Astounding Financial Cost of Lance Armstrong’s Downfall (Challenges, France)
Although Lance Armstrong says he’s through with the whole issue of whether he used performance enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times, according to reporter Laure-Emmanuelle Husson of the French business journal Challenges, Armstrong’s troubles may have only just begun. French sport, doping and legal experts say Armstrong may have to repay all the money he has won, and not only for his Tour de France victories, but for all of the victories from the beginning of his cycling career.
“It’s his choice, his position, but Lance Armstrong risks losing a lot more than he thinks – and not only his seven Tour de France victories.” Professor and French anti-doping specialist Jean-Pierre de Mondenard, interviewed by cyclisme.actu.fr, knows that the choice of the seven-time winner of the Tour de France is a risky one. By deciding not to contest charges made by the USADA (the United States Anti-Doping Agency), which intends to strip him of his titles from the Grande Boucle and ban him from sport competitions for life, Lance Armstrong could lose a great sum of money.
In fact, the American cyclist will have to repay all monies received for his victories in the Tour (€2.5 million or $3.2 million) and also bonuses (€8,000 for every stage won and €350 for every day he wore the yellow jersey, plus bonuses for the mountain passes [included in the Tour].
“Financially, he risks quickly finding himself out on the street. Because they are going to ask him for all the money he received from his Tour victories, and surely from the other races. He is going to have to repay almost all of the winnings he took in during his entire career. And don’t forget about the insurance policies and the astronomical sums of money paid to him every time he won the Tour de France. He’s going to have to repay all this too, because I don’t believe the insurance companies will leave him alone,” predicts Professor de Mondenard. And it wasn’t only Lance Armstrong that received these earnings, because the tradition in cycling is that the winner shares his earnings with all members of his team.
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