Lance Armstrong is once again learning the hard way that perjury doesn’t pay.
A three-person arbitration panel has ordered the discredited cyclist, 43, to pay a North Texas-based company $10 million for denying he used performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France multiple times, reports The Dallas Morning News.
“Deception demands real, meaningful sanctions,” the panel wrote in court documents filed Monday in a Dallas County district court, based on their secret Feb. 4 ruling, reports the News.
According to the Associated Press, the arbitration panel ruled 2-1 against Armstrong and Tailwind Sports, the now-defunct owner of Armstrong’s Tour de France teams.
The company, SCA Promotions, had agreed to pay the cyclist bonuses for repeatedly winning the prestigious cycling race, but did not pay out the money because it had suspicions he had doped.
Armstrong sued the company in 2004 for not paying the bonuses. When the issue went into arbitration the following year, Armstrong testified that he never doped and he won the races “straight up fair and square,” reports the paper.
SCA Promotions settled the case in 2006 and agreed to pay Armstrong $7.5 million, according to a statement about the sanction on its website.
However, the company sued Armstrong in 2013 a month after he conducted an interview with Oprah Winfrey in which he admitted he used performance-enhancing drugs and intimidated witnesses to lie about the doping to protect him.
“Perjury must never be profitable,” the panel also wrote, per the News.
The $10 million figure is believed to be the biggest amount ever levied against an individual for perjury, the paper also reports.
“We are very pleased with this result,” SCA’s president and founder, Bob Hamman, said in its 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.”
Armstrong’s attorney told the News the arbitration panel’s sanction is “unprecedented.”
“No court or arbitrator has ever reopened a matter which was fully and finally settled voluntarily,” lawyer Tim Herman said, per the paper. “In this matter SCA repeatedly affirmed that it never relied upon anything Armstrong said or did in deciding to settle.”