Lance Armstrong Paid Me $100,000 Bribe to Throw Race: Italian Cyclist

Image: Lance Armstrong Paid Me $100,000 Bribe to Throw Race: Italian Cyclist

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 02:42 PM

By Courtney Coren

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Lance Armstrong paid competitor Roberto Gaggioli $100,000 in a Christmas cake box in 1993 to let him win a race worth $1 million, the retired Italian cyclist claims.

"A young American colleague ...  offered me a panettone (a traditional Italian Christmas cake) as a present and wished me a merry Christmas," Gaggioli said. "In the box there were $100,000 in small bills."

"That colleague was Lance Armstrong," he said, the New York Post reports.

The 22-year-old Armstrong told Gaggioli that Coors Light, the team he was riding for had approved it, he said.

"I understood that it had all been decided," Gaggioli said.

"Two laps from the end, I was in a breakaway with Lance, Bobby Julich ,and some Italian riders from the Mercatone team," Gaggioli explained. "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."

They were racing in the CoreStates race in Philadelphia, Pa.,  the final segment of the 1993 Thrift Drug Triple Crown race that took place over 21 days. The other two legs took place in Pittsburgh, Pa.,  and West Virginia.

A prize of $1 million awaited a cyclist who swept  all three races — but only $25,000 apiece for fewer than three victories,  according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail.

Armstrong won all three legs.

Rider Roberto Pelliconi claims that Armstrong also had an agreement with Angelo Canzonieri to pay them 50 million Italian lira, which is about $35,000, at the Tour of Lombardy.

Armstrong lost all seven of his Tour de France titles after he admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January that he used performance-enhancing drugs following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency in the October 2012.

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