Posted December 13, 2013

Italian cyclist says Lance Armstrong gave him $100K to let him win race

More Sports
Lance Armstrong (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong won a $1 million prize as a 21-year-old rookie. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Italian cyclist Roberto Gaggioli said Lance Armstrong gave him $100,000 as part of an agreement to let Armstrong win a race 20 years ago, according to Agence France-Presse translating comments in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

“It was a young American colleague,” Gaggioli, now 51, said. “He offered me a panettone [a traditional Italian Christmas cake] as a present and wished me a merry Christmas. In the box there were $100,000 in small bills. That colleague was Lance Armstrong.

“Lance said that my team, Coors Light, had agreed to it. I understood that it had all been decided.”

SI WIRE: Lance Armstrong says he was singled out because he wasn’t nice

The payment came before the CoreStates race in Philadelphia, which, combined with the Pittsburgh Classic and West Virginia Classic, comprised the Thrift Drug Triple Crown that came with a $1 million prize, at the time the richest in the history of cycling.

Armstrong, who was riding for the Motorola team, was a 21-year-old rookie at the time.

“Two laps from the end, I was in a breakaway with Lance, Bobby Julich and some Italian riders from the Mercatone team,” Gaggioli said, adding that Armstrong paid off other riders as well. “When Lance made a sign, I turned away as if not to see that he had escaped. He broke away to win on his own.”

This is not the first time Armstrong has been accused of trying to fix races. In January 2006, New Zealand rider Stephen Swart gave a sworn deposition that Armstrong and another Motorola teammate offered him $50,000 to let them win the triple crown series.

Swart later joined the Motorola team.


10 comments
nmaguire
nmaguire

Lance also once gave me $50 to cut in line at Starbucks - we need an investigation.  Get real!!!

AndrewM1
AndrewM1

Smells like BS.  Out of everyone in the entire race, he somehow knew the exact single rider he'd need to bribe beforehand?  A bit far-fetched.  If the story was that his team told him during the breakaway to back off, and then he got payment afterward, that might seem more plausible.  

dchiu2013
dchiu2013

Just win by any means necessary, Lance. No one kicks a cancer surviver. 

Steve Moore
Steve Moore

Wake up and smell the coffee - it goes on in every sport (circus). Just watch an NBA game, the calls the refs make, the strike zone in MLB for rookies v vets. It's everywhere, believe it.

Terry
Terry

This degenerate was help up as an American hero to the world.

I don't care as a cycling enthusiasts, I care that he has shamed my country.

dandogwood
dandogwood

It's fricking bike riding who cares.

pauly48446
pauly48446

@Terry Your grammar shames the educational system that you seem to have shunned. On the plus side, your teachers should be held up as heroes for at least teaching you how to spell

InternetDenizen
InternetDenizen

@Terry Your grammar is more of a shame to your country than Lance Armstrong. Lance is one guy. You, however, are an example of how poorly our educational system as a whole has performed.