Lance Armstrong does not intend to repay a Texas company that insured and paid U.S. Postal team bonuses for three of his Tour de France wins despite his admission that he used an array of performance-enhancing drugs in winning the titles, his attorney has said.
SCA Promotions has said it is considering filing a lawsuit to recoup from Armstrong as much as $12 million, which it paid him for his fourth, fifth and sixth Tour victories.
But Armstrong's lawyer, Tim Herman, told USA Today Sports that there was no precedent for such a payback.
"My only point is no athlete ever, to my understanding, has ever gone back and paid back his compensation," Herman told the newspaper.
"Not Sean Payton or anybody else," he said of the New Orleans Saints coach who was suspended last season for his role in a bounty program. "They were suspended, but nobody said you've got to give your paycheck back."
SCA Promotions lawyer Jeff Tillotson said last month that Armstrong had sworn under oath he did not use doping products during the races for which the company insured his bonuses.
"He's now told us, at least through Oprah, that he lied when he told us he was a clean rider," Tillotson told the BBC, referring to the interview with Oprah Winfrey in which Armstrong admitted to doping. "He doped during all those races, and USADA [U.S. Anti-Doping Agency] and UCI [the International Cycling Union] have stripped him of his official title status. So under those circumstances, my client naturally wants his money back.
"We have made a demand for return of the $12 million, and if that money is not returned to us, my client will pursue litigation. He feels Lance Armstrong neither has the legal right nor frankly the moral right to keep those funds."