Fog envelopes Lance Armstrong's wealth
Ahead of yesterday's telecast of his interview with talk show icon Oprah Winfrey, where he is expected to come clean on doping, the figure of between $100 million and $125 million has been widely circulated.
It's the range often cited, without attribution, by such mainstream media as the New York Times, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal.
But senior editor Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes magazine said it's difficult to work out how rich he is, given that he holds no big stakes in publicly listed companies, no longer races for prize money and has lost lucrative sponsorships.
Forbes, famous for its rich lists, estimated Armstrong's net worth at $28 million back in 2005, the year he began his four-year hiatus from cycling, and $20 million in 2009, when he made his Tour de France comeback.
In more recent years, Badenhausen told AFP, Armstrong has probably been earning around $15 million a year from sponsors, public appearances and speaking fees.
"With someone like Lance, it's a little tricky to work out his net worth," he said. "Nobody is talking in his camp these days."
Armstrong lost big-time sponsors like Nike sportswear and Trek bicycles when the US Anti-Doping Agency last year put him at the heart of what it called the biggest doping conspiracy in sports history.
But he is understood to retain small equity interests in companies that he has been associated with, such as energy drink manufacturer
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