Armstrong in Italy

Lance Armstrong has made an impromptu visit to Italy on Wednesday of this week in order to discuss...

Lance Armstrong has made an impromptu visit to Italy on Wednesday of this week in order to discuss the Filippo Simeoni case with the judge in Lucca, Tuscany. Simeoni claimed that Armstrong intimidated him during a stage of the 2004 Tour de France, when he tried to bridge up to a breakaway and the American chased him down, virtually ordering him back to the bunch or he would make his team chase. The pair became rivals after Simeoni testified in the Dr Ferrari trial, and Armstrong subsequently called him a liar.

Armstrong raced in Paris-Camembert on Tuesday before flying to Italy. According to a report in la Gazzetta dello Sport, he met with judge Giuseppe Quattrocci in Lucca, Tuscany. No details of the meeting were revealed, but Armstrong did say that he was "very civilised, I think that he appreciated my goodwill."

In other Armstrong legal news, the Associated Press is reporting that the six-time Tour winner is engaged in a legal battle with his former personal assistant Mike Anderson, who has filed a court brief alleging that he found a banned steroid in Armstrong's Girona apartment in 2004. Anderson said he did not see Armstrong using the substance, nor did he take possession of it for the purposes of evidence.

Anderson was sacked in November 2004 after he asked for received a $500 per month pay rise. Armstrong then sued Anderson in December 2004, alleging that Anderson demanded $500,000 from him, along with assurances of future payments to assist him in starting a bike shop, and even a signed Tour de France jersey. Anderson launched a countersuit, claiming breach of contract, emotional distress and fraud.

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