Earlier this month, an arbitration panel issued a $10 million award against former professional bicyclist Lance Armstrong and now-defunct team management company Tailwind Sports Corporation. The award resulted after an arbitral panel agreed to reopen 2005 arbitration proceedings between Armstrong and Dallas-based SCA Promotions over cycling-related bonuses.
During the 2005 proceedings, Armstrong testified under oath that he had never used performance enhancing drugs. Following arbitration, Armstrong received an award totaling approximately $12 million in bonuses from SCA Promotions related to a number of his seven Tour de France bicycling competition wins. The parties eventually settled the dispute for an estimated $7 million.
Years later, Armstrong publicly admitted to using performance enhancing drugs throughout his cycling career. Due to Armstrong’s doping admission, SCA Promotions asked the original three-person arbitral panel to reconsider the $12 million award. The panel agreed to reexamine the case and Armstrong unsuccessfully appealed the panel’s decision to a number of Texas appellate courts including the Supreme Court of Texas. The arbitration panel heard additional testimony in the case in late 2014.
Yesterday, attorneys for SCA Promotions asked the 116th Civil District Court in Dallas to confirm the arbitration panel’s 2-1 award. In its February 4th decision, the arbitral panel reportedly stated Armstrong engaged in an “unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy.” The panel also said the award was merited because Armstrong’s “[d]eception demands real, meaningful sanctions.” Despite the admitted fraud, an attorney for Armstrong argued that the panel’s decision was contrary to Texas law and should be overturned by a judge. The lone dissenting arbitrator also claimed the panel exceeded its authority.