(NEWSER) – It’s expensive being Lance Armstrong, especially after his endorsements fell by the wayside and he was hit with various lawsuits as a result of his doping scandal. It could have been devastatingly expensive, in fact, except for the one thing the elite cyclist says “saved our family”: an investment almost 10 years ago in a little company called Uber. Armstrong, 47, tells CNBC that his $100,000 gamble in a venture capital fund back in 2009 has paid off with a number “too good to be true,” though he’s keeping quiet on the exact figure. To offer some clue as to how lucrative his asset has become: Uber was valued at $3.7 million when Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital first pumped Armstrong’s money into it; now the ride-sharing company is aiming for a $120 billion valuation ahead of a possible IPO.
Armstrong tells CNBC’s Andrew Sorkin he didn’t know at the time that Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital was investing in Uber, thinking instead Sacca bought “a bunch of Twitter shares from employees or former employees.” When pressed by Sorkin on his windfall and whether it was perhaps “10, 20, 30, 40, or 50 million,” Armstrong simply agrees, “It’s one of those,” per the BBC. Armstrong, who tells Sorkin the past six years have been “terrible” and “really sucked,” says his behavior, perhaps even more so than the doping itself, was what led to his downfall. “If I did all that [doping] but I was a gentleman … and treated people with respect, they would’ve let me off,” he says. “It was the way I acted that was my undoing.” Despite all that, Armstrong notes: “I don’t feel like a failure.” see more