Lance Armstrong has scored a significant victory in his libel battle against The Sunday Times and its chief sports writer David Walsh.
A judge in London's high court has struck out the newspaper's defence in its entirety after the six-times Tour de France winner sued them for libel. The suit was prompted by an article last June, bylined Alan English, repeating allegations made in a book LA Confidentiel: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong which Walsh co-authored but was published only in France. The newspaper had sought to argue that the article was true. They could now face a six-figure compensation payout to the American. Mr Justice Eady said he considered the tone of the article to be "sensational" and to "stir things up".
The book calls on 52 witnesses, whose evidence, as Walsh admitted when the book was published, is "circumstantial". Armstrong has repeatedly denied allegations that he has taken performance-enhancing drugs. Upon publication of the book and article, the Tour de France winner mobilised legal teams in London and Paris. News International has removed the article from its online archive.
Armstrong is also involved in a bitter court case in his native Texas, having sued his former personal assistant, Mike Anderson. Anderson claimed he wanted $500,000 and other benefits under an employment contract. Now Anderson has counter-sued for an unspecified amount, accusing Armstrong of fraud, breach of contract and causing him severe emotional distress.
Source: The Guardian