Disgraced cyclist Armstrong faces two new lawsuits

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Lance Armstrong was facing two more lawsuits on Friday spawned by his admission that all seven of his Tour de France victories were fueled by banned drugs.

The Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance Company sued Armstrong and Tailwind Sports Corporation claiming he committed fraud by concealing his use of performance enhancing drugs during the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Tours.

"By his cheating and deception, Armstrong committed fraud. This suit seeks repayment of US$3 million (S$3.71 million) in undeserved an unearned pay Lance Armstrong obtained by fraud," stated the lawsuit filed in Travis County Court in Austin, Texas.

The payment cited was a US$3 million bonus paid to Armstrong for his first three Tour victories.

Acceptance claims that Armstrong's lies void the policy under which the money was paid out.

In October, Armstrong was stripped of his Tour titles as well as all other results from August 1998 and banned for life after the US Anti-Doping Agency determined he was the key figure in a sophisticated doping program on his US Postal Service team.

He finally made a belated admission of doping in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in January, in which he said he used a combination of blood-doping transfusions, blood-boosting EPO and testosterone throughout his career.

Armstrong was also sued Thursday in federal court in Los Angeles in a class-action lawsuit claiming Armstrong and FRS - maker of nutritional supplements - engaged in false advertising.

The suits are just the latest legal woes to spring from Armstrong's disgrace.

The US government has joined a "whistle-blower" lawsuit seeking help the US Postal Service recoup "tens of millions" paid to Armstrong when it sponsored his team with more than US$30 million - a lawsuit that could deliver a triple-damages blow costing Armstrong more than US$90 million.

That lawsuit was first filed by Armstrong's disgraced former teammate Floyd Landis, who claims Armstrong and team manager Johan Bruyneel defrauded taxpayers and the government by having Armstrong and other riders use performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong is also being sued by Texas insurance company SCA, which paid him US$12.1 million in bonuses for multiple Tour victories.

In Britain, he is being sued by the Sunday Times, which is seeking repayment of the 1 million pounds (S$1.9 million) libel settlement Armstrong won against the newspaper in 2006 after it printed allegations that he doped.

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