By Emily Goddard

Lance Armstrong has been stripped of the Légion d'honneur ©Getty ImagesCyclist Lance Armstrong has been stripped of the Légion d'honneur, France's highest award.

The American received the rank of Chevalier - or Knight - in the National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2005, the year in which he took his last and seventh consecutive Tour de France victory - he was later stripped of those titles, as well as the Olympic bronze medal he won at Sydney 2000, for doping.

A Légion d'honneur official today said she was unable to confirm when the decision was made to remove Armstrong's award, as the organisation does not usually make it public when an honouree loses their decoration.

The announcement follows news that the disgraced cyclist has been ordered to give sworn videotaped testimony about his use of performance-enhancing drugs next month in his battle with SCA Promotions, which is trying to claim back $12 million (£7.1 million/€8.7 million) of bonus payments he received.

Armstrong had attempted to block an arbitration panel from reviewing the payments made to him by the Texas insurance company, but this was rejected last month and the case given the go ahead.

A panel has now issued subpoenas for testimony from Armstrong on June 12 and his long-time business manager, Bill Stapleton, on June 9.

Armstrong has, however, called on the Texas Supreme Court to intervene, as his attorneys insist state law does not allow SCA to reopen the original settlement, which included a clause that said "no party may challenge, appeal or attempt to set aside" the payment and that it was "fully and forever binding".

The cyclist's battle with SCA is just the latest in a string of lawsuits against him since he was exposed as a drugs cheat.

Armstrong settled a similar case with Acceptance Insurance, which was trying to reclaim more than $3 million (£2 million/€2.5 million) in bonus payments, last November, while The Sunday Times halted a £1 million ($1.6 million/€1.1 million) lawsuit against him after the two parties reached a "mutually acceptable final resolution" last August.

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]sidethegames.biz


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