Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

Recently in Cycling Category

The Lance Armstrong doping scandal was one of those things that shook the entire sports world. Armstrong was world-renowned as one of the best bicyclists of all time -- until it was discovered that nearly all of his accolades were the product of performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), commonly referred to as steroids, or doping.

From 2001 to 2004, the United States Postal Service gave over $30 million to Lance Armstrong's professional cycling team under a sponsorship agreement. During that time, the sponsorship agreement included a provision that essentially prohibited the use of PEDs by sponsored riders, allowing USPS to suspend or fire riders. Nevertheless, Lance Armstrong earned millions, despite having used PEDs throughout his career.

Lance Armstrong won seven consecutive Tours de France and was the face of one of the most popular charities in the world. Then he admitted to doping and it turned out his charity was a sham. Since then, everyone from his team sponsors to people who bought his book has wanted their money back.

One of those seeking repayment was a promotions company that paid Armstrong prize money for his Tour victories. After being ordered to pay back the money, Armstrong has settled with the company.

An arbitration panel in Texas has ordered Lance Armstrong to pay SCA Promotions $10 million based largely on his 2013 confession to doping. SCA had sued Armstrong to recoup bonuses it paid the cyclist for his multiple Tour de France victories.

While Armstrong and his lawyers intend to fight the ruling, SCA has asked a Texas state court to confirm the arbitration decision, giving it the status of a legal judgment.

Lance Armstrong 'Unjustly Enriched,' USPS Lawsuit Asserts

The U.S. Postal Service has decided to sue disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong for prior sponsorship money, claiming he was unjustly enriched.

Armstrong, who was stripped of all titles he'd won since 1998, received approximately $40 million over the course of six years from the USPS, and now they want their money back, reports CNN.

If the USPS is successful, they may collect up to triple their sponsorship money. But it all may hinge on whether Armstrong was unjustly enriched.

Lance Armstrong Gears Up for Oprah Confession, Legal Obstacles

After years of denying doping, Lance Armstrong is expected to make a confession to Oprah Winfrey today. The interview is set to be broadcast Thursday.

The cyclist is expected to come clean on allegations of doping and using performance-enhancing drugs surrounding his Tour de France wins, as well as issue an apology to the public, reports ESPN. This confession comes on the heels of a damning U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report last year that resulted in Armstrong losing all seven of his Tour de France titles.

Given that Armstrong has been involved in plenty of legal controversy surrounding his alleged doping, his confession now will have serious legal ramifications. Here are some of the potential impacts:

Lance Armstrong Lawsuit vs. Doping Agency Thrown Out

A federal judge threw out Lance Armstrong's lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Armstrong had sued the USADA to stop its investigation into his alleged doping and use of performance-enhancing drugs. If Armstrong is found to have cheated, he could be stripped of his Tour de France victories, face a lifetime ban from competitive cycling, and his legacy will likely be forever tarnished.

The U.S. District Court in Texas refused to get involved in the matter and the judge essentially said the matter should be resolved within USADA's own internal protocols and not in a U.S. court, reports CNN.

Alberto Contador Stripped of 2010 Tour de France Title by Court

Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador's doping charges were upheld on Monday. He was stripped of his 2010 Tour de France title and banned from the sport for two years.

The decision was handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The three-man panel held that Contador was guilty of taking performance-enhancing drugs.

Contador originally argued that the presence of clenbuterol in his system was not the result of illegal doping. The cyclist said it was because he ate contaminated meat.

Cyclist Dies in High-Speed Crash: Did He Assume the Risk?

Racing cyclists must wear hard helmets to protect their heads in falls. But accidents still happen. Belgian cyclist Wouter Weylandt died recently after a high-speed downhill crash at the Giro d'Italia, a road race in Northern Italy, reports the Associated Press.

Weylandt died after he fell during a fast descent down a mountain road.

According to race officials, the Belgian's left pedal got stuck in a wall at the side of the road, forcing Weylandt to tumble about 66 feet to the ground below. He suffered a skull fracture. Medical efforts to revive him on the roadway failed, reports the Associated Press.

Tour de France Champion Contador Fails Doping Test

Doping scandals and the Tour de France seem to go together like peanuts and peanut butter. Three-time and 2010 Tour de France champion Alberto Contador has tested positive for a banned steroid, clenbuterol, taken during the race. But rest not lovers of sport and truth...Contador has a perfectly reasonable explanation for his failed doping test: bad meat. "It is a food contamination case of which I am the victim," Contador said.

Contador, of Spain, who has now been provisionally suspended from cycling by the Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling's governing body. But Contador remains adamant that he is innocent and that the food contamination theory is for real. According to Contador, several riders ate bad meat during the race. After he tested positive, Contador says that he asked the UCI which other riders passed the test, CNN.com reports "...the only one who passed the control ... was Alexandre Vinokourov. [He was the only one of the riders] who did not eat the meat on that day."

5 Sports Legal Issues That Won't Go Away

It's been a busy 2010 at Tarnished Twenty. Their super hero physique might make you believe otherwise, but athletes are human like the rest of us. This year they have certainly given us a lot of repeat topics. Let's look at some of the most recurring sports legal issues of the year.

Contract Disputes

"Show me the money!" Sure, they might love the game, but it's still a job and pros want to get paid. In July we had a post about new USC coach Lane Kiffin who was in a dispute with Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher. Fisher accused Kiffin of "poaching" one of his coaches. That didn't phase Kiffin, he's certainly been accused of worse.

Only in sports law do contract disputes involve grown men dressed as Pierogi. The Pittsburgh Pirates fired one of their mascots for criticizing the contracts of the team's general manager and head coach.