Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has been ordered to pay $10 million in damages to the sports insurance company that funded his bonuses for winning the Tour de France.
SCA Promotions paid Armstrong bonuses for winning the race in 2002 and 2003, but refused to pay in 2004 amid accusations of doping. Armstrong took them to court and won, saying in sworn testimony that he had never used performance-enhancing drugs.
“I race the bike straight up fair and square,” Armstrong testified, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The company took the matter to court after Armstrong admitted to doping in 2013.
"The case yet again before this tribunal presents an unparalleled pageant of international perjury, fraud and conspiracy," the arbitrators wrote in their 2-1 ruling against Armstrong and Tailwind Sports, which managed his team, according to Reuters. "It is almost certainly the most devious sustained deception ever perpetrated in world sporting history."
ESPN reported that the dissenting arbitrator was appointed to the panel by Armstrong's side.
SCA said it's the largest award of its kind in U.S. history.
In addition, the panel wrote that Armstrong and Tailwind Sports "expressed no remorse to the panel for their wrongful conduct and continued to lie to the panel throughout the final hearing even while admitting to prior falsehoods and other wrongful conduct."
During his 2005 lawsuit against SCA, Armstrong's team had taken out a full-page ad in Sports Business Journal attacking the company for what it called a "shameful and baseless breach of contract" when it initially refused to pay.
SCA said it ultimately paid Armstrong $12 million, including bonus money, interest and legal fees.
"We are very pleased with this result," SCA president and founder Bob Hamman said in a statement. "It is hard to describe how much harm Lance Armstrong's web of lies caused SCA but this is a good first start towards repairing that damage."
SCA has other legal action pending against Armstrong.
Armstrong said he intends to fight the panel's decision.
"This award is unprecedented. No court or arbitrator has ever reopened a matter which was fully and finally settled voluntarily," Armstrong's attorney, Tim Herman, wrote in an email to Reuters. "Despite the absence of any legal basis for the sanction, Armstrong offered to pay SCA the entire $10 million in order to resolve the matter, but SCA refused."
Armstrong has been banned for life from any sport under the auspices of World Anti-Doping Agency code and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.
The fallen athlete made headlines earlier this month when it came out that he allegedly hit two parked cars with his SUV in Aspen last December, then asked his girlfriend to take the blame.