In February 2009 Crikey wrote to South Australian Premier Mike Rann seeking details of his government’s payments to the American cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Dear Mr Parker,
I forward the following email previously sent to you on 3 and 6 February without response.
I advise that I am preparing a piece on this matter for publication tomorrow and again invite a response from the Premier, Mr Rann or yourself on his behalf.
My deadline will be 10 am NT time and advise that my contact details remain as given below.
I look forward to receiving your response either later today or early tomorrow.
Dear Mr Parker,
I write for Crikey.com.au and have some questions about the recent involvement of Mr Lance Armstrong in the Tour Down Under that I would like to put to the Premier, Mr Mike Rann and/or his Department.
It has been widely reported that the amount of $US1 million was paid to Mr Armstrong for his visit to South Australia recently. I have not seen any confirmation that this was the amount actually paid to Mr Armstrong and I have heard reports that the actual figure was $2US million.
I note that it had originally been claimed that any monies paid to Mr Armstrong would be donated by him to charity.
Subsequently, Mr Armstrong informed the media that that proposition was incorrect and that he would receive the money personally for his efforts related to cancer research in Australia, and South Australia in particular.
1 – Please confirm to whom any monies paid by the South Australian government or its related entities for the personal attendance of Mr Armstrong in South Australia during the conduct of the Tour Down were made to, i.e., to Mr Armstrong personally or a corporate entity with whom he is associated.
2 – Please confirm the actual amount paid to, or on behalf of, Mr Armstrong by the South Australian government or its related entities for his attendance in South Australia during the Tour Down Under?
3 – Please advise of the additional costs met by the South Australian government or its related entities (airfares, accommodation etc etc) involved in bringing Mr Armstrong, and his entourage, whether members of the Astana team or his personal staff, to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under and related events.
4 – Please advise of any other participants in the Tour Down Under who received similar payments to that received by Mr Armstrong.
Thank you. If you wish to clarify any of the matters referred to above or have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me. I can be contacted by return email or by telephone.
As noted in today’s piece in Crikey the response from Mike Rann’s office was as follows:
“Any payments associated with teams or cyclists taking part in the Tour Down Under are commercial in confidence. This has been the case since the inception of the race 11 years ago”.
A week ago I sent the following email to Mr Rann’s media liaison staffer, Ms Jill Bottrall and to a representative from Tourism SA, Ms Hitaf Rasheed.
Dear Jill and Hitaf,
Further to my short ‘phone conversation with Jill the other week I have the following questions for Premier Rann and/or officers from Events SA in relation to payments made to various teams for their attendance and/or other purposes at the Tour Down Under in 2009 & 2010.
I note by way of background that, as far as I am aware, there has been no confirmation of the amount of money paid, or the conditions on which it was paid, to Lance Armstrong by the South Australian government – or any of it’s agencies – for his attendance at the Tour Down Under in 2009.
1 – Please confirm the amount of money paid to Lance Armstrong as an attendance fee or similar for his attendance, competition at or other purposes during the Tour Down Under in 2009.
2 – Please advise how that money was paid – by direct payment to Lance Armstrong personally or to some other person, agent or entity? If so, please provide the details of that other person, agent or entity.
3 – Has a money figure been agreed between Lance Armstrong, or his agent, another person or entity and the South Australian government in relation to his attendance at the Tour Down Under in 2010? If so, how much?
4 – Has a money figure been agreed between any other individual rider, or any professional team, in relation to their attendance at the Tour Down Under in 2010? If so, please provide details of to which individuals and teams and how much.
Thank you for your time. If you have any queries about these matters please do not hesitate to contact me by return email or by telephone.
As of press deadline this morning we have received no response. I’ll keep you posted if, and when something does come in.