Lance Armstrong's week has included new details of a potential doping ring, losing major sponsors like Nike, and even some smaller ones like Anheuser-Busch and Trek bicycles. Add a renewed interest in old race fixing accusations to that list.
ABC News in Australia uncovered a previously unheard sworn deposition from New Zealand rider Stephen Swart in a 2006 American court case that alleges Armstrong and members of his team bribed Swart and his team to throw the final two legs of a series of races in 1993. Armstrong offered $50,000 to Swart and his team to not "be aggressive and challenge," in the last two races. Armstrong was focused on winning the $1 million bonus for whoever won all three races and he already had the first race put away. Armstrong went on to win, though Swart has said he didn't understand why Armstrong paid them to hold back because he thinks Armstrong probably would have won anyway. Still, Swart said they got their money a few weeks later.
ABC in Australia is particularly interested in the story because legendary Australian cyclist and former Armstrong mentor Phil Anderson was allegedly in the hotel room when the deal was made between Armstrong and Swart. In an interview with ABC, Anderson couldn't recall a deal ever being made but wouldn't deny it happening, either. It's also a story that's stuck around. Swart told it under oath in a separate 2004 U.S. court case, and he gave the same version of events in the Armstrong-focused book LA Confidential, a book by Armstrong expert David Walsh. Swart joined Armstrong's Motorola team in 1994, a year after the alleged bribe.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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