The office of South Australian Premier Mike Rann would neither confirm nor deny reports that Lance Armstrong will be paid US$1 million for his appearance at next week’s Tour Down Under.
Instead Lachlan Parker, from the Premier’s media department, said any monies paid to the seven-time Tour de France winner would go to the Livestrong charity.
“All teams that take part are paid a fee to do so,” Parker told Cyclingnews.com. “Any fee which may have been paid to Lance will go to his charity. No further information has been divulged."
The comments come after Australian news website Crikey.com.au reported Armstrong received a US$500,000 (£340,000) down payment, with the balance to be paid following the event.
Armstrong will attend a Cancer Council fundraising dinner at Adelaide Town Hall on Friday evening, before starting the Cancer Council Criterium on Sunday evening and the Tour Down Under next Tuesday. The Texan announced his return to professional racing last September, with the aim of raising funds and awareness for cancer.
The 37-year-old was diagnosed with testicular cancer in October 1996. The disease had already spread to his lungs, abdomen and brain, prompting him to undergo surgery to remove his brain tumour and the affected testicle.