Los Angeles, CA-Cycling champion, cancer survivor, and all-around hero to adults and children alike Lance Armstrong is scheduled to confess to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey which airs tonight at 9 p.m. on her network OWN. And the windfall of his much anticipated confession will likely include a number of costly civil lawsuits and a possible criminal conviction.
This will be Lance’s first interview since he was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last October after he decided to no longer defend himself against allegations that he used performance enhancing drugs. Oprah announced today that during the 2 ½ hr. interview Armstrong confesses to doping, but we all knew that anyway, people just want to hear it from his mouth.
The many documents released by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency described Armstrong’s doping as one of the most “sophisticated” doping scheme in “sports history”, according to the New York Post. According to the doping agencies investigation, which included affidavits and hundreds of pages of eyewitness testimony, Armstrong pressured doctors and teammates to engage in doping and cover up his activities by using bullying and intimidation.
“The USPS Team doping conspiracy was professionally designed to groom and pressure athletes to use dangerous drugs, to evade detection, to ensure its secrecy and ultimately gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices,” the agency said. “A program organized by individuals who thought they were above the rules and who still play a major and active role in sport today.”
Many agree that a number of lawsuits could follow his confession tonight. A Whistleblower lawsuit against Armstrong was filed two years ago by one his former teammates Floyd Landis alleging he violated the terms of his and the team’s $30 million contract with the USPS, according to Forbes. The U.S. Department of Justice could decide to join the lawsuit, which could set Armstrong and his co-conspirators back $90 million.
But that’s not the end of it; it only gets worse for Lance. He also faces a multi-million dollar lawsuit from SCA, a Dallas-based company that links incredibly talented athletes with sponsors, according to Fox News. SCA paid Tailwind Sports; Armstrong’s cycling team management, who then paid the poisoned cyclist when he won races.
Fox also reported an Australian State plans to sue Armstrong for several million dollars in fees he received while competing in the Tour Down Under Race in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Then there is the lawsuit from Fox’s parent company News Corp. for a libel suit he filed against them for accusing him of doping.
Also his Livestrong charity, which he established on the pretense that he beat cancer and went on to win several Tour De France titles, could also go after him for tarnishing the charity. Sponsors for the popular charity could also sue the disgraced cyclist.
Today, after discovering Armstrong was confessing to doping, the International Olympic Committee stripped him of his 2000 Bronze Medal won at the Sydney Olympics.
Armstrong’s estimated personal wealth is roughly $125 million. If all these lawsuits are filed as anticipated, legal experts agree, that his only way out of the debt would be to file for bankruptcy.
In bankruptcy court all lawsuits are immediately suspended, but he will have to file before the judgments are awarded. Once the court orders a decision in a fraud case they can no longer be dismissed, though the amount a person is required to pay is significantly reduced.
The only upside of Armstrong is that the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution of perjury has already run so he will be free, but significantly broke.