Off the Record can at last reveal the final pay cheque of the world’s most notorious sporting drug cheat, Lance Armstrong, for riding at the 2011 Tour Down Under.
Off the Record can at last reveal the final pay cheque of the world’s most notorious sporting drug cheat, Lance Armstrong, for riding at the 2011 Tour Down Under.

Revealed at last: Drug cheat Lance’s final pay cheque

Sure we had to wait 10 years, but the final bill is in. South Australia paid the world's most notorious sporting drug cheat Lance Armstrong $US950,000 to ride at the 2011 Tour Down Under. The 10-year confidentiality agreement on Armstrong's contract expired on March 31 and follows the $US1 million Armstrong was paid in 2009 and the $US1.3 million he trousered in 2010.

A grand total of $US3.25 million for the three TDUs. Or around $3.9 million in Australian dollars.

There were a few sweeteners as well. Two first-class return airfares from Austin, Texas, hotel accommodation and reimbursement for travel, food and other incidental expenses (needles? bags of blood? EPO?)

Treasurer Rob Lucas released the details to OTR and predicted "most South Australians would not say it was money well spent''.

"It's a massive amount of money to pay an individual for a bike race,'' Lucas said. Especially when "there had been persistent doping rumours about this bloke for some time beforehand''.

Armstrong certainly raised the profile of the TDU and was feted by fanboys such as former premier Mike Rann, former race director Mike Turtur and current race director Stuart O'Grady, who is himself a confessed drug cheat.

Despite being outed as a drug cheat in 2012 and admitting his seven Tour de France titles were chemically assisted, there is no chance the TDU money will be repaid. Armstrong did repay $US5 million to former sponsor US Postal and was ordered to repay Tour de France prizemoney but no "morals" clause was included in his TDU contract

 

Former South Australian premier Mike Rann and Lance Armstrong hold a Tour Down Under press conference.
Former South Australian premier Mike Rann and Lance Armstrong hold a Tour Down Under press conference.

Originally published as Revealed at last: Drug cheat Lance's final pay cheque



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