Ovation: Cheating Armstrong Sued For Winnings.
I imagine we’ve all met a cheater. Not a person who has a secret sexual affair but a person who is less than honest in a quest toward a goal. Maybe it was someone who filed an insurance claim that they shouldn’t have or parked in a handicapped parking space when they were perfectly able to walk from another. Perhaps they lied about their age, used a fake ID or slipped themselves an extra five-hundred-dollar bill when they were the “banker” playing Monopoly. Even The Golden Girls encountered indiscretions …
Rose Nyland: “You can’t buy from a scalper, that’s a crime!”
Dorothy Petrillo-Zbornak: “So is eating grapes at the supermarket but you do that all the time.”
While these lapses in good judgment shouldn’t be examined alongside Ponzi schemes and other white-collar crimes, they certainly can’t compare to the biggest cheater in recent history … Lance Armstrong.
An insurance company in Dallas has filed suit against Armstrong seeking the return of twelve million dollars in bonuses the cyclist was paid for winning the Tour de France in 2002, 2003 and 2004. They also hope to recoup legal costs and interest. Armstrong has to decide if he will return the money or risk further damage to his reputation by fighting the case. If he chooses to fight, he will be trying to keep twelve million dollars that he won by cheating. Last month, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted that he took performance enhancing drugs throughout his career.
“By now, everyone knows that Lance Armstrong perpetuated what may well be the most outrageous, cold-hearted and elaborate lie in the history of sports,” says the lawsuit filed in Dallas.
Attorneys for Armstrong insist that the case is closed and cannot be reopened under terms of a previous settlement with SCA Promotions, a company that indemnifies sports-related businesses against losses. Tailwind Sports, the owner of Armstrong’s cycling team, bought a sort of insurance policy and, after Armstrong kept winning, made claims against that policy to have SCA cover the bonuses. When SCA ultimately became suspicious, an investigation into Armstrong’s career quietly began.
Since last month’s admission was a direct contradiction to his testimony in a 2005 appearance under oath, it’s likely that the settlement agreement will be considered null and void and the case will be reopened. I imagine it’s unlikely that he’ll get to keep any of the money. I certainly don’t think this cheater should get to prosper.
Lance Armstrong was a role model to a generation of young athletes, as well as cancer survivors, the world over. Going forward, his story can be a lesson in virtue and the importance of honesty and fairness in sports. Furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, his riches-to-rags story can serve as an example of what not to do to get ahead.
“Treason doth never prosper, what’s the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason.” Epigrams by Sir John Harington of the early 17th century.
Do you think Armstrong should have to pay back the ill-gotten winnings?
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