Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong revealed that an early investment in Uber, without knowing what the product was, saved his family financially his hefty court settlements in his infamous doping case.
The American was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life in 2012 for doping. The case had cost him millions of dollars in lost endorsements and lawsuit settlements and he would have gone under, had it not been for the money he got from Uber.
“It’s saved our family. I didn’t even know that he (Chris Sacca, who started Lowercase Capital in 2010) did Uber. I thought he was buying up a bunch of Twitter shares from employees or former employees, and the biggest investment in [the] Lowercase fund one was Uber,” Armstrong told CNBC in an interview.
According to the news website, invested $100,000 in Chris Sacca’s nascent venture capital firm in 2009. Most of it went to Uber which at the time was valued at just $3.7 million. Today, the banks have reportedly valued the company at as much as $120 billion.
However, the 47-year-old who has five children, refused to disclose how much he earned from his Uber investment, only saying that it was “too good to be true”.
Armstrong has settled the lawsuit by agreeing to pay $5m (£3.9m) to the US government and avoid a trial that could have cost him $100m (£78m) in damages, according to BBC. However, he said that his other settlements and legal fees meant he had to pay $111m in total.
The former cyclist is serving a lifetime ban from all sports that follow the World Anti-doping Agency’s code after he was found to have doped during his seven-year reign as Tour de France champion.
During his career, Armstrong used powerful performance enhancing drugs and methods including the banned blood-booster EPO and blood transfusions.
He was for many years the face of the sport, both due to his success and the remarkable story of a cancer survivor overcoming the odds to reach the top.
But that was all exposed as a lie when, after years of denials, Armstrong finally owned up to his cheating in an interview with popular American chat-show host Oprah Winfrey in early 2013.