Before the downfall: Lance Armstrong is cheered by spectators during the Champs Elysees in Paris, July 25,1999.
Patrick Kovarik | AFP | Getty Images
Disgraced former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong told CNBC that he has advice for Donald Trump, saying the president should “somehow negotiate, at this point, a cap on his legal fees.”
Armstrong received a lifetime ban from all sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Code in 2012 after evidence emerged that he cyclist used performance enhancing drugs. He was stripped of seven consecutive Tour de France titles.
In April 2018, Armstrong reportedly agreed to pay $5 million to the federal government in order to avoid a $100 million lawsuit. As part of that settlement, paid $1.65 million to his former teammate and whistleblower Floyd Landis, reports said.
Armstrong denied doping charges until a 2013 interview with Oprah Winfrey. The interview prompted then-businessman Donald Trump to tweet “Lance Armstrong did himself great harm last night. Lawsuits & failure will follow him.”
Trump could face his own legal battle after an investigation by the New York Times found that the president paid very little in taxes over the past decade.
A spokesperson for the White House was not immediately available for comment.
Separately, Armstrong weighed in on the coming U.S. presidential election, saying “I just don’t think that’s the best that America has” in reference to last week’s first debate between President Trump and Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Armstrong criticized Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “I don’t think he does a great job.”
He added that Trump has “a real disdain for the media, but I can also appreciate that.”
Pandemic ‘silver lining’
Armstrong’s venture capital firm, Next Ventures, invests in companies in the health and wellness industry. He raised only $24.5 million of an expected $75 million in 2019, but told CNBC that the pandemic could benefit his fund.
Covid-19 “has actually been in many ways, a silver lining for us as a fund,” he said. “It’s forced, not just American society, but all societies to hit reset on their health and wellness.”
Armstrong is no stranger to the world of startups, an early investor in Uber, he put in $100,000 through in 2009 when the company was valued at only $3.7 million.
In 2018, Armstrong told CNBC that his Uber investment “saved” his family after he was forced to pay millions in settlements over his doping scandal.
Bike for Beirut
The former professional cyclist spoke to CNBC from Dubai during a trip to the region to raise money for victims of the massive explosion that rocked Beirut’s port in August. The catastrophe killed 193 people and caused billions of dollars in damage.
Dozens of cyclists took part in Bike for Beirut, a cycle tour around the city’s downtown. Beirut was already reeling from an economic crisis even before the blast.
“The consensus is they are not hopeful,” Armstrong said.