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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Texas judge rules against Lance Armstrong in fight to keep panel from reviewing bonuses

DALLAS - A Texas judge has rejected Lance Armstrong's request to stop an arbitration panel from reviewing $12 million in bonuses the cyclist was paid before admitting he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Judge Tonya Parker declined Tuesday to stop the panel from considering whether Dallas-based SCA Promotions should be repaid the bonuses it awarded Armstrong for three of his seven Tour de France victories.

Jeff Tillotson, an attorney for SCA Promotions, said Wednesday that the panel will meet March 17 to discuss his request that Armstrong forfeit prize money from those races and penalize him for committing perjury.

SCA Promotions filed one of several lawsuits against Armstrong after he admitted to doping. He has been stripped of all seven victories and received a lifetime ban from the sport.

SCA and Armstrong reached a 2006 settlement in arbitration after allegations surfaced that Armstrong was using banned drugs to win races. Armstrong vehemently denied the allegations during arbitration, as he did for more than a decade.

After Armstrong acknowledged last year that he had been lying, SCA went to court and then back to the original three-member panel. The panel voted 2-1 in October to review the case.

SCA's lawsuit quotes Armstrong's repeated denials in sworn testimony. Tillotson argued last week that Armstrong "lied at every step of the way," making it necessary for the panel to review the settlement.

Armstrong's attorneys argued before Parker last week that the panel no longer had authority to review the settlement once it was signed — even if SCA could demonstrate that Armstrong lied under oath.

Armstrong's longtime attorney, Tim Herman, declined comment Wednesday night.

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Associated Press writer Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

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Follow Nomaan Merchant on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nomaanmerchant

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