A day before being scheduled to give sworn testimony about using performance-enhancing drugs, Lance Armstrong has reached a settlement with an insurance company, seeking more than $US3 million ($A3.2 million) for bonuses paid to the disgraced cyclist for his Tour de France wins from 1999 to 2001.
Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance sued Armstrong earlier this year after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during his career.
Attorneys for both sides would not disclose details of Wednesday’s settlement other than to say the case had been “resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties”.
The settlement means Armstrong will not need to show up for a Thursday deposition in Austin, where he was expected to be asked to detail drug use throughout his career. Although Armstrong has acknowledged drug use in interviews with Oprah Winfrey and other media, he is yet to provide sworn testimony.
In a British Daily Mail interview this week, Armstrong said former International Cycling Union (UCI) president Hein Verbruggen helped him cover up doping at the 1999 Tour de France, a charge Verbruggen dismissed as a “ridiculous story”.
Armstrong’s statements have otherwise lacked many details anti-doping authorities want to hear. Armstrong has said he would consider taking part in international efforts to address drug use, and UCI president Brian Cookson has said he’ll be invited to a joint union-World Anti-Doping Agency investigation.
Armstrong has so far refused to provide sworn testimony to the US Anti-Doping Agency. It was USADA’s detailed report in 2012 of drug use by Armstrong’s US Postal Service team that led to him being stripped of his seven Tour titles.
The agency, which also banned Armstrong from Olympic sports for life, has said the only chance to lessen the penalty is to answer questions under oath.
Betsy Andreu, a key witness and wife of former Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu, was frustrated that Armstrong avoided Thursday’s deposition.
“This gets him out of doing what he fears the most, which is going under oath. He has never answered the questions in depth. He’s always skirted.”
Armstrong still faces a similar $US12 million ($A12.75 million) lawsuit from a Dallas-based promotions company that is in arbitration.
He also faces a federal whistleblower suit over his team’s previous Postal Service sponsorship that could lead to fines exceeding $US100 million ($A106.35 million).