Lance Armstrong sued over libel case

18:52, Dec 23 2012
Lance Armstrong
SUED: Lance Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong is being sued for more than US$1.5 million (NZ$1.81m) by a British newspaper over the settlement of a libel action, which followed doping allegations against the cyclist that it published.

The Sunday Times paid Armstrong £300,000 (now about NZ$589,000) in 2006 to settle a case after it reprinted claims from a book in 2004 that he took performance-enhancing drugs.

The US Anti-Doping Agency concluded this year that Armstrong led a massive doping program on his teams. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life.

The Sunday Times announced in an article in its latest edition that it has issued legal papers against Armstrong.

"It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent," the paper said in a letter to Armstrong's lawyers. "Your representations that you had never taken performance enhancing drugs were deliberately false."

The paper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., said its total claim against Armstrong is "likely to exceed" £1 million (NZ$1.96m).

"The Sunday Times is now demanding a return of the settlement payment plus interest, as well as its costs in defending the case," the paper said.

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AP