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Must Reads: Armstrong won’t repay bonus; Fuentes, soccer linked

Attorney: Armstrong won’t pay back bonus money — USA Today

Lance Armstrong does not plan to pay back nearly $12 million in bonus money he received for winning the Tour de France despite his recent admission that he cheated to win the race every time from 1999 to 2005.

The company that paid the bonuses said it expects to file a lawsuit against Armstrong this week to get its money back. But Armstrong’s attorney, Tim Herman, sees it differently. He compared the situation to other sports figures who were suspended for various infractions but did not have to give back their paychecks.

“My only point is no athlete ever, to my understanding, has ever gone back and paid back his compensation,” Herman said. “Not (New Orleans Saints coach) Sean Payton or anybody else. They were suspended, but nobody said you’ve got to give your paycheck back.”


Club ex-president says Fuentes supplied drugs to Real Sociedad — AS

Is the genie out of the bottle? The Spanish sports daily AS published a three-page spread Monday linking Spain’s top soccer league to Operación Puerto ringleader Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

Last week during testimony in the Puerto trial, Fuentes hinted about the identity of the codename “RSOC” without saying what it was. AS followed up on rumors that it could be Real Sociedad, one of Spain’s top teams in La Liga.

In an interview with AS, the club’s ex-president, Iñaki Badiola, said team doctors paid for banned products using under-the-table payments during a six-year span until 2008.

According to an interview with Badiola, who served during the 2008 season as the team’s president, AS reports that it could have been Fuentes who supplied the team with the illicit products.

“It seems to be, but it should be Fuentes who should confirm all this with what is taking place now with Operación Puerto,” Badiola told AS. “It could well be Fuentes who was supplying the drugs. We want to cross-check documents we have against Fuentes.”

Badiola said he conducted an internal review of the team’s illicit payments and suspected that it was Fuentes who facilitated the purchase of the banned doping products.

Team officials denied links to Fuentes.

Real Sociedad, based in San Sebastián in Spain’s Basque Country, came within one point of winning Spain’s top league in 2002.

Last week, the presiding judge at the Puerto trial stopped Fuentes from revealing names hidden in ledgers. In the opening day of testimony last week, Fuentes admitted working with other sports beyond cycling, including soccer, athletics, tennis and boxing.

The Puerto trial continued Monday with testimony from Guardia Civil agents who investigated and then busted Fuentes in May 2006.

Read full story (in Spanish) >>

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