Looks like Lance Armstrong is facing more defamation headaches. This time around, UK-based newspaper, The London Sunday Times, is publicly considering suing the famous former cyclist to recoup monies lost in a 2006 libel lawsuit filed by Armstrong.
As you’ve surely heard by now, the Tour de France champ was summarily stripped of his wins on account of what the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency called an “overwhelming” amount of evidence that Armstrong not only doped, but also helped teammates dope.
The verdict handed down by the USADA came after years of speculation that Armstrong’s “super human” abilities were not the sole result of hard work. During those years, many media outlets published reports that either flat out accused Armstrong of doping or strongly suggested dirty deeds. One of those outlets was the London Sunday Times.
In 2004, the periodical wrote an article that referenced a popular book critical of Armstrong entitled “L.A. Confidential — Les Secrets de Lance Armstrong.” Noteworthy is that the book was co-written by David Walsh, a London Sunday Times reporter.
Armstrong sued for defamation over the article and won, largely because the UK has the most plaintiff-friendly libel laws in the world (but that is all about to change due to a defamation reform bill currently being debated and passed in Parliament).
The USADA published 1,000 pages of evidence against Armstrong and declared he was involved in “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” As a result, those who were forced to pay out previously are looking to recoup their costs. The London Sunday Times is one of those entities. Specifically, reports are saying that The Times is “considering taking action to recover money spent on a libel case Armstrong brought and to pursue him for fraud.”
We’ll have to wait to see what tact the newspaper chooses in this defamation situation. In the meantime, Lance Armstrong has much bigger things to worry about, like not being re-upped as a Nike endorser and stepping down from Livestrong.