Newspaper Goes after Lance Armstrong for $1.5M it Lost in Libel Suit

Armstrong Lawsuit

After disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong admitted to doping during his interview with Oprah, British newspaper The Sunday Times said it will launch its fight to recover the cash that Armstrong won from the paper in a libel suit.

The Business Insider reported on this story and its developing details.

David Walsh, one of The Sunday Times’ sports writers, made claims against Armstrong since 1999. His accusations centered on his belief that Armstrong was using illegal substances. The ever-righteous Armstrong filed a libel case against Walsh and his editor after a 2004 article made these same claims against him.

Walsh Armstrong Lawsuit

The British newspaper settled out of court with Armstrong in 2006.

The Guardian reported that the settlement amounted to £300,000 ($478,000). Including legal fees and other expenses, the British newspaper lost close to £1 million ($1.59 million) in total.

At the time, Armstrong and the Sunday Times released a joint statement to announce the settlement:

The Sunday Times has confirmed to Mr Armstrong that it never intended to accuse him of being guilty of taking any performance enhancing drugs and sincerely apologized for any such impression.

But now, the Sunday Times has released a much different statement after the Oprah interview:

We watched Lance Armstrong’s interview with interest and noted his numerous admissions regarding taking performance-enhancing drugs. The Sunday Times believes that our case for recovering the £1m plus he obtained from us by fraud is now even stronger. We will be pursuing that case vigorously.

David Walsh spoke to NPR and also gave a quote on Armstrong’s admittance:

It’s satisfying because a lot of people helped me. When I say they helped me, they were my sources, they went out on a limb to tell the truth solely for the sake of telling the truth. So I felt a tremendous satisfaction that people could at last see that these people had been telling the truth all along.

Walsh also spoke to Channel4News in a video interview:

Journalist David Walsh on Lance Armstrong's Oprah interviewJournalist David Walsh, who pursued allegations of doping against Lance Armstrong over more than a decade, discusses the cyclist's interview with Oprah – including saying that the interview has been conducted on "his terms", and looking at the treatment of people and Armstrong's brand rebuilding.2013-01-18T06:14:34.000Z

In the past, Armstrong sued a slew of journalists, friends and working colleagues that accused him of doping. In 2006, Lance even dropped several lawsuits in France after winning three previous legal battles.

He spoke to AP in 2006 and made note of his many court victories:

I think we’re 10-0 in lawsuits right now. My life is not about that anymore. I’ve answered all the questions.

A so-called “whistleblower” lawsuit has recently surfaced against Armstrong. Floyd Landis, an Armstrong teammate who was outed for doping use, is now suing Armstrong.

Floyd Landis Lawsuit

Deadspin provided details on the lawsuit and Landis’ claims:

Landis is claiming that Armstrong, team director Johan Bruyneel and others defrauded the government out of more than $30 million they paid to sponsor the USPS team. And as the whistleblower, Landis could receive up to a quarter of the money collected.

During the Oprah interview, Oprah asked Armstrong this question: “You’re suing people and you know they’re telling the truth? What is that?”

Armstrong responded to Oprah with: “It’s a major flaw.”

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