- (Photo: Reuters/Eric Gaillard/Files)
A British newspaper has taken legal action against Lance Armstrong after it paid the cyclist a large settlement for printing an article about his doping.
In 2004, Armstrong sued The Sunday Times for printing an article accusing him of doping, and received a settlement of 300,000.
Earlier this year, after decades of denying the use of performance-enhancing drugs known as doping, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as well as former teammates of Armstrong's charged him with using banned substances dating back to 1996.
Subsequently, Armstrong was stripped of his impressive seven Tour de France titles and banned from cycling for life.
Also, because it was concluded that Armstrong had been doping all along, The Sunday Times is suing the cyclist for return of the settlement payment, plus interest and legal expense. The paper announced the suit in its most recent headline- "Paper sues over Armstrong lies."
"It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent," The Times penned to Armstrong's lawyers. "Your representations that you had never taken performance enhancing drugs were deliberately false."
Furthermore, the Times story noted that its total claim "is likely to exceed" 1 million pounds, or $1.6 million.
Meanwhile, Armstrong faces the scrutiny and disappointment of the public for his use of banned substances while competitively cycling. He was known as one of the most accomplished athletes in recent history and won the Tour de France an unprecedented seven consecutive times.
Following the USADA's conclusion, the athlete has lost lucrative endorsements and even resigned as director of the Lance Armstrong Foundation earlier this year.
Moreover, in November, Sports Illustrated elected Armstrong the top "Anti-Sportsman of the Year."
Ahead of the stripping of his titles, Armstrong vehemently maintained his innocence against doping, but surrendered against the charges posed by the USADA.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough,'" said the cyclist in a statement written on his website, LanceArmstrong.com.
"For me, that time is now," he continued. "I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999."