Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong may have to pay back more than three million dollars in prize money, but he would still be a rich man, experts have said.
According to them, most sponsors, including Nike and Anheuser-Busch, through whom Armstrong has netted 125 million dollars, probably won't even bother trying to make the Tour de France winner pay for any reputational damage his drug-taking may have inflicted.
Most contracts for sports stars include a provision barring the use of performance-enhancing drugs. But while badly behaved athletes are often dumped by the brands they represent, as in Armstrong's case, sponsors will rarely make them forfeit the money they were paid before the scandal broke, the Daily Mail reports.
Armstrong's lawyers are confident his sponsors won't sue for damages.
"We don't have a plan for that, because I do not expect that to happen," Tim Herman said.
The association to Armstrong is unlikely to impact big brands such as Nike, which has weathered scores of sporting scandals with its athletes over the years. But the damage inflicted on smaller brands could be significant, the paper said. (ANI)