Armstrong sued by British paper over previous libel action

A British newspaper is suing Lance Armstrong for more than US$1.5 million over the now-disgraced cyclist's successful libel action over doping allegations. The Sunday Times paid Armstrong 300,000 pounds (now about $485,000) to settle a case after it printed allegations in 2004 that he took performance-enhancing drugs.

Disgraced cyclist had been awarded large sum after action

Lance Armstrong in happier times from 2010. He is now being sued to return monies earned from a libel case against a British newspaper. (Bradley C. Bower/Associated Press)

Lance Armstrong is being sued for more than US$1.5 million by a British newspaper which lost a libel action for publishing doping allegations against the now-disgraced cyclist.

The Sunday Times paid Armstrong 300,000 pounds (now about $485,000) in 2006 to settle a case after it reprinted claims from a book in 2004 that he took performance-enhancing drugs.

But this year, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency found 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 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 pounds ($1.6 million).

"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.