August 25 - A "mutually acceptable final resolution" has been reached by The Sunday Times with disgraced seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong after the paper sued the American cyclist following his admission that he was a drugs cheat, it has been announced.
The newspaper had sued Armstrong for around £1 million ($1.6 million/€1.1 million) following an announcement by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) last Octoberthat it had "overwhelming evidence" that Armstrong was a drugs cheat who led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
After consistently denying that he doped during his career, the 41-year-old Texan admitted to American chat show host Oprah Winfrey in January of this year that he did use performance enhancing substances and blood transfusions during his time in the saddle.
The Sunday Times' chief sports writer David Walsh first questioned Armstrong's achievements after his maiden Tour de France win in 1999, after the American had returned to the sport following a battle with testicular cancer.
His dominance in subsequent years, which saw him winning an unprecedented seven consecutive Tours, only served to fuel suspicions of doping, and it was Walsh and The Sunday Times who were the most vocal in raising questions about Armstrong's record.
In June 2004, allegations contained in Walsh's book L.A. Confidential accusing Armstrong of doping were printed in a Sunday Times article written by then deputy sports editor Alan English which eventually led to the paper being forced to pay the cyclist £300,000 ($467,000/€350,000) to settle a libel case in 2006.
However, following the USADA report in October last year and Armstrong's subsequent admission of doping, the newspaper wrote to Armstrong's lawyers saying it was now clear that the earlier proceedings brought by the athlete had been "baseless and fraudulent", informing them that they intended to sue the American to recover the original pay-out plus legal costs and interest.
Now, The Sunday Times has reported that it has "reached a mutually acceptable final resolution to all claims against Lance Armstrong related to the 2012 High Court proceedings and are entirely happy with the agreed settlement, the terms of which remain confidential".
Following USADA's report last year, Armstrong was formally stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, along with all results going back to 1998 as well as receiving a lifetime ban from the sport.
During his confessional interview with Winfrey, Armstrong justified his doping by saying that it was part of the culture of the sport, adding: "I viewed it as a level playing field."
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