By Lisa Maria Garza
DALLAS (Reuters) – A Texas judge has denied a request by lawyers for Lance Armstrong to block a sports insurance company from re-opening an arbitration agreement in which the firm paid $12 million in bonuses to the disgraced cyclist.
Dallas County Judge Tonya Parker refused to stop the original arbitration panel from considering whether Dallas-based SCA Promotions should be able to recoup the millions it paid Armstrong during his Tour de France winning streak, according to court documents filed on Wednesday.
SCA attorney Jeff Tillotson said on Wednesday that the panel is scheduled to meet March 17 to consider his request that Armstrong pay back the millions in prize money because he had denied under oath that his seven championships were fueled by performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong’s lawyers argued in court last week that the original settlement from 2006 was binding. Armstrong’s attorney Tim Herman could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.
The bonus money from SCA is for three of Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories. The American cyclist was stripped of his titles and handed a lifetime ban in 2012 after a U.S. Anti-Doping investigation.
(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Ken Wills)