Lance Armstrong Settles and Avoids Questioning Under Oath
Just one day before Lance Armstrong was to be questioned under oath about his doping practices, he settled a lawsuit brought earlier this year and avoided his deposition.
In February 2013, Acceptance Insurance Company sued Armstrong after he admitted to doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. The company, like many others, wants the money it paid to Armstrong back. In Acceptance’s case, the company sought the return of $3 million in bonuses it paid for wins from 1999 to 2001.
On November 20, Armstrong and the insurer reached a settlement. The details of the agreement haven’t been released; the attorneys only said the case was “resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.” The settlement is no doubt a relief to Armstrong because, for now, he is able to avoid fessing up under oath.
Since his admission to Oprah, Armstrong has refused to give sworn testimony. The last time Armstrong answered doping questions under oath was during his case against SCA Promotions in 2005. When asked about using performance-enhancing drugs, he said he never doped.
In the deposition, Acceptance was expected to question Armstrong in great detail about his doping practices. The company was looking for information back to 1995, including who was paid for delivering the substances, who advised Armstrong on usage, and who was aware of his use.
Betsy Andreu, the wife of Armstrong’s former teammate, was to be a key witness for Acceptance. She said, “[t]his gets him out of doing what he fears the most, which is going under oath. He has never answered the questions in depth. He’s always skirted.”
While Armstrong may have “skirted” this time, he has a long way before he’s free from questioning. Currently three other cases are pending against him. The federal government is suing him on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service for at least $40 million. Also, SCA Promotions is seeking repayment of its $12 million in bonus payments. To completely avoid questioning, Armstrong will have to pay out big time and settle the remaining cases.