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Armstrong testifies in SCA bonus case

Lance Armstrong gave sworn testimony Thursday as part of a Texas firm's effort to recoup millions of dollars it paid the disgraced American

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LOS ANGELES, June 12 (AFP) – Lance Armstrong gave sworn testimony Thursday as part of a Texas firm’s effort to recoup millions of dollars it  paid the disgraced American for what he later admitted were drug-fueled Tour de France victories.

Jeffrey Dorough, general counsel for Dallas-based SCA Promotions, told AFP that Armstrong had given a sworn deposition in the case in Austin, although he said a protective order had been issued that prevented him from discussing what the testimony was.

Armstrong’s attorney, Tim Herman, also declined when asked for comment by USA Today.

Armstrong has fought to block SCA’s bid to recover $12 million in costs and bonuses it paid him before his spectacular fall from grace.

But he had no choice but to give the testimony after the Texas State Supreme Court denied his motion for temporary relief in the case last month. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping and handed a life ban from the sport, eventually admitting last year that all seven triumphs were fueled by banned performance-enhancing drugs.

SCA withheld a $5 million bonus it was scheduled to pay after Armstrong’s sixth Tour de France win in 2004 because of doping allegations then circulating in Europe. Armstrong took SCA to court and won the case in arbitration.

But since his ban, and admission of doping, SCA has sought to recoup the money from Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service cycling team’s parent company, Tailwind Sports, along with legal fees and interest.

Tillotson has said that Armstrong’s false testimony was too long ago for him to face perjury charges under the statute of limitations, but he said SCA Promotions wants Armstrong sanctioned for his lies by the same arbitration panel that handled the previous case.

“Our position is simple,” Tillotson told USA Today on May 30. “No one should be able to relentlessly perjure themselves and get away with it.”

In a separate fraud lawsuit filed by the federal government, Armstrong was scheduled for another deposition on June 23, USA Today reported. But the government recently said it would postpone that deposition and others it had scheduled for this month, including Armstrong friend John Korioth, Armstrong publicist Mark Higgins, Armstrong friend, and former Oakley employee Stephanie McIlvain, and cycling coach Chris Carmichael.