REVEALED: Disgraced drug-cheat cyclist Lance Armstrong was paid $1.5MILLION by taxpayers to race in Australia
- Lance Armstrong was paid $1.5 million to race in the 2009 Tour Down Under
- A 10-year agreement with South Australian government kept amount a secret
- Contract didn’t include a drug clause and he didn’t have to repay the money
- In 2013 Armstrong confessed to using drugs in an interview with Oprah Winfrey
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was paid $1.5 million by taxpayers to race in Australia.
Armstrong, 47, travelled to South Australia to compete in the Tour Down Under in 2009.
An agreement between the South Australian state government and Armstrong has meant the amount he was paid to take part has been kept a secret for the last 10 years.
However, the amount has now been public, revealing the drug cheat was paid $1.5 million to ride in the race.
Former cyclist Lance Armstrong (pictured) was paid $1.5 million to race in the Tour Down Under despite using performance-enhancing drugs
The Sunday Mail reported that Armstrong’s contract included two first-class return airfares and hotel accommodation.
It did not include a drug or cheat clause which meant he didn’t have to repay the taxpayer money he earned after admitting to using performance enhancers.
‘South Australians have a right to know this information. We tried to release it straight after the election but couldn’t legally under the terms of the contract, which explicitly prevented either party from publicly disclosing its details for 10 years,’ state treasurer Rob Lucas said.
According to Mr Lucas, the eight-page contact placed no obligation on Armstrong to race in the TDU but rather only required him to take part in the demonstration Down Under Classic event.
His 2009 comeback at the Tour Down Under attracted global attention and led to investigations into his previous wins.
‘His presence, the returned benefits to the race and to this state and to awareness around cancer … money cannot buy,’ Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said at the time.
Armstrong’s attendance to the tour in 2009 is estimated to have made $39 million, an increase of $17 million from the previous year.
A 10-year agreement between Armstrong and the South Australian government has kept the amount a secret until now
His contract did not include a drug or cheat clause which meant he didn’t have to repay the taxpayer money he earned
‘The smallest increase that we saw was 100 per cent, it was staggering, and we are still benefiting from that legacy,’ Mr Turtur said.
Armstrong was the only cyclist to ever win seven consecutive races in the Tour de France.
Despite Armstrong fighting off allegations of cheating throughout his career, the US Anti-Doping Agency revealed in 2012 that he had been the centre of ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen’.
A televised confession with Oprah Winfrey in 2013 confirmed the speculation as Armstrong admitted to using the performance-enhancing drugs in a tell-all interview.
In 2013 he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in a tell-all interview (pictured with Kristin Richard)
Lance Armstrong: A timeline
1993: Wins world championship
1995: Wins Tour de France stage
1996: Diagnosed with testicular cancer and learns it has spread to his lungs, brain and abdomen
1999: Wins first of seven consecutive Tour de France titles. He tests positive for a corticosteroid but avoids sanction by showing a prescription
2000: Wins second Tour de France and an investigation into Armstrong using drugs ends
2002: Wins fourth consecutive Tour de France
2005: Wins seventh Tour de France
2008: Announced he was retiring
2009: Decided to come out of retirement and compete in Tour de France. He finishes in third place
2010: His former teammate Floyd Landis claims Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs
2011: He retires from cycling at 39-years-old
2013: Armstrong admits using performance-enhancing drug to Oprah Winfrey in an interview.
2015: He is forced to pay $10 million to a company in a fraud dispute