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April 7, 2013

Armstrong asks court to dismiss SCA lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas — Lance Armstrong has asked a Texas court to dismiss a lawsuit by a Dallas promotions company seeking repayment of more than $12 million in bonuses paid for winning the Tour de France.

SCA Promotions sued Armstrong and his manager, Bill Stapleton, in state district court in Dallas in February. It contends Armstrong committed fraud by using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France seven times. SCA paid Armstrong's team management company Tailwind Sports for several of those victories, which have now been stripped away.

The sides have been battling since 2005, when SCA tried to withhold the bonus money. Armstrong sued, sending the case in a long arbitration process where the company tried to prove Armstrong doped.

SCA agreed to pay him in a voluntary settlement in 2006. Armstrong's court filings Friday argue that settlement is legally binding and includes language that it cannot be appealed.

The company argues that it was cheated into the settlement because Armstrong, who now admits doping, lied when he testified under oath that he didn't.

"SCA does not believe that any prior occurrences in its litigation history with Lance Armstrong bar its attempts to seek recovery through legal channels today," company spokesman Jeff Dorough wrote in an email.

The SCA lawsuit is among several legal cases pending against Armstrong.

In February, the U.S. Justice Department joined a lawsuit against Armstrong alleging he concealed his use of performance-enhancing drugs and defrauded his longtime team sponsor, the U.S. Postal Service.

The whistleblower lawsuit was originally filed by former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis. The lawsuit alleges that riders on the postal service-sponsored team, including Armstrong, knowingly violated their postal service agreements by regularly using banned substances and methods to enhance their performance.

Landis was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for doping.

Armstrong also has been sued by the London-based Sunday Times, which wants to recover $500,000 it paid him to settle a libel case Armstrong brought against the paper.

Armstrong has been banned from competition in Olympic sports for life by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, whose investigation exposed the U.S. Postal team's doping program.

Armstrong, 41, had tried to enter this weekend's U.S. Masters Swimming regional championships in Austin but was barred from competition on Thursday by swimming's international federation, which said the meet must recognize USADA's ban.

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