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“If that whistleblower suit comes to fruition, whether it’s Landis pursuing it individually or Eric Holder pursuing it as the attorney general, that’s a big deal,” said Ryan Rodenberg, a sports management professor at Florida State University and an authority on sports contracts. “Repaying a lot of money to the feds is a big deal. Potential criminal liability is a big deal. Hiring a bunch of high-priced lawyers for that fight is a big deal.

“From a risk-reward standpoint, if the DOJ were to take him up on his $5 million offer, that would be a pretty good deal for Lance Armstrong.”

Mr. Armstrong’s legal entanglements don’t stop there: On Tuesday, the government of South Australian state said it would seek the repayment of several million dollars in appearance fees paid to Mr. Armstrong for competing in the Tour Down Under in 2009 through 2011.

Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper — sued in the past by Mr. Armstrong for publishing an article that accused the cyclist of doping — is suing the cyclist for $1.5 million, seeking to recoup a $500,000 settlement plus interest and legal fees.

Mr. Armstrong also is expected to face a lawsuit from a Dallas-based insurance company seeking to recover the more than $12 million it paid out to indemnify Tailwind Sports for losses incurred in disbursing cycling performance bonuses.

Other potential litigants include previous corporate sponsors — such as Nike, Radio Shack and Anheuser-Busch — the organizers of the Tour de France (who paid out more than $3 million in winnings) and even individuals whom Mr. Armstrong and his associates aggressively attempted to discredit and intimidate for speaking out about his doping.

“I don’t think any of Armstrong’s former racing partners — who could plausibly have some sort of defamation case — will sue,” Mr. Rodenberg said. “It’s highly unlikely they could squeeze money out. The insurance companies have a good chance. The former sponsors might run into statute of limitations issues if their contracts expired years ago. But the ones that just dropped Lance in October wouldn’t have issues filing for breach of contract.”

Taken together, current and potential lawsuits could significantly reduce Mr. Armstrong’s personal worth, estimated to be as high as $100 million.

“He has the financial wherewithal to withstand significant litigation,” Mr. McCann said. “And some of these demands on Armstrong probably won’t be met. Companies seldom go to athletes and say, ‘We want our money back.’ It’s usually just too hard.

Armstrong’s lawyers also could argue that those companies still made money on their deals. So where are the damages?”

Still, the potential hit to Mr. Armstrong’s bottom line points the way to a more effective sports doping deterrent.

Rather than punish athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs by handing down playing suspensions and, say, making it impossible for them to be enshrined in baseball’s Hall of Fame, why not write into their performance and endorsement contracts that doping violations will result in forfeiture of past earnings and payments?

Most sports contracts contain morals clauses that allow employers and sponsors to terminate relationships if athletes violate specific provisions — such as being convicted of a crime.

Mr. Rodenberg, who used to work for a sports agency and participated in contract negotiations, said that the language of those clauses could be altered to include stringent anti-doping provisions.

“You could make that morals clause doping-specific,” he said. “You could also include a liquidated damages clause specific to doping — basically, that’s a clause in which the parties acknowledge what the damages will be if a future event happens. You commit a confirmed doping violation, you agree to pay us X amount of dollars.”

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