The Sunday Times sues Lance Armstrong over libel-suit settlement

The Sunday Times expects its total claim "is likely to exceed" 1 million pounds ($1.6 million)

LONDON (VN) — A British newspaper that paid 300,000 pounds to settle a libel suit brought by Lance Armstrong wants its money back and then some.

The Sunday Times is suing for return of the settlement payment, plus interest and legal expenses, and announced in its most recent edition — in a story headlined “Paper sues over Armstrong’s lies” — that its total claim “is likely to exceed” 1 million pounds ($1.6 million).

Armstrong sued the paper in 2004 after it printed an article saying it was right for questions about Armstrong’s performance to be both “posed and answered.” The story followed the publication of “L.A. Confidentiel,” a book about Armstrong written by Sunday Times chief sportswriter David Walsh and former L’Equipe writer Pierre Ballester.

The case was settled in 2006, with the newspaper issuing a formal apology as part of a joint statement that read:

“The Sunday Times has confirmed to Mr. Armstrong that it never intended to accuse him of being guilty of taking any performance-enhancing drugs and sincerely apologizes for any such impression. Mr. Armstrong has always vigorously opposed drugs in sport and appreciates The Sunday Times‘ efforts to also address the problem.”

But after Armstrong was formally stripped of his Tour de France titles in October, the Sunday Times decided to seek redress.

A letter to Armstrong’s lawyers states: “It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent. Your representations that you had never taken performance-enhancing drugs were deliberately false.”