Tampa Bay area triathlon company forfeits millions to the government

Tampa Bay area triathlon company forfeits millions to the government (Image 1)

The company that runs the “Ironman” triathlon is accused of charging hundreds of athletes who didn’t qualify $50 for a chance to compete in the World Championship in Hawaii.

The World Triathlon Corporation forfeited $2.7 million in lottery fees it collected during the last three years but didn’t admit wrongdoing. The Justice Department said the company received thousands of entries last year alone but only 100 people were selected to compete.

“They entered the lottery and as ‘Ironman’ likes to say, they made a lot of dream comes true by selecting people. They could have done it had they not charged them and it would have been completely legal,” Assistant U.S. Attorney James Muench said. “I don’t think there is any question what they were doing was a lottery, which is illegal under Florida law.”

World Triathlon Corporation issued a statement saying it “does not agree with the Justice Department’s interpretation of the law, but it chose to settle to focus on its priorities, athletes and its events.”

For future events the company plans to change the way it allows athletes to compete.

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