Armstrong loses bid to have doping denialinserted in French book

21st June 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 21 (AFP) - A French judge on Monday rejected a bid by American cycling star Lance Armstrong to insert a denial against accusations of doping against him published in a book which was released last week.

PARIS, June 21 (AFP) - A French judge on Monday rejected a bid by American cycling star Lance Armstrong to insert a denial against accusations of doping against him published in a book which was released last week.

Armstrong, 33, seeking a record sixth consecutive Tour de France in July, has vowed to take legal action over the new book "L.A. Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong" which alleges he used banned drugs.

The book focuses on statements attributed to Emma O'Reilly, a physiotherapist who worked with Armstrong from 1998-2000. O'Reilly claims Armstrong used the banned blood booster EPO.

During a hearing last Friday Armstrong's lawyers slammed the book as "sensationalist" and an attack on the rider's character.

Lawyers acting on behalf of French publishers La Martiniere defended the book and argued that finding in favour of the plaintiff would signal the end of investigative journalism.

La Martiniere's lawyer Arnault de Montbrial told AFP that his clients were "very satisfied" with the judge's decision.

He said that Armstrong had been ordered to pay a symbolic EUR 1 in damages to the defendants for "abusive procedure".

"The judge understood perfectly that by condemning Mr Armstrong for abusive practice that the interested party had tried to respond using the judicial channel to the journalists’ questions which he had refused to answer," de Montbrial claimed.

O'Reilly also alleges that Armstrong asked her to dispose of bags with syringes after the 1998 Tour of Holland and that in May 1999, as Armstrong trained in the Pyrenees, she was asked to drive to Spain to pick up drugs which she handed to Armstrong in a parking lot.

O'Reilly claims in the book Armstrong asked her to use makeup to cover up syringe marks on his arm at a Tour de France medical checkup in 1999.
Armstrong, a Texan, has neither tested positive for banned substances nor faced any bans over doping and has always strenuously denied taking any such products.


© AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article