Lance Armstrong: Sunday Times sues cyclist for up to £1m

The Sunday Times is suing Lance Armstrong for up to £1m after he was given a life ban and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping.

Armstrong, 41, was paid £300,000 to settle a libel case in 2004 after the newspaper alleged he had cheated.

Armstrong report key claims

  • Achievements of USPS/Discovery Channel pro cycling accomplished through the most sophisticated, professional and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen
  • Armstrong's career at the team was fuelled from start to finish by doping
  • More than a dozen former team-mates, friends and former team employees confirm a fraudulent course of conduct
  • Armstrong acted with the help of a small army of enablers, including doping doctors, drug smugglers and others within and outside the sport and his team
  • He had ultimate control over not only his own personal drug use but over the doping culture of the team
  • Team staff were good at predicting when testers would turn up and seemed to have inside information
  • Evidence is beyond strong and as strong as any case ever brought by Usada

The US Anti-Doping Agency found he had led the "most sophisticated" drug-taking programme in sport.

The newspaper is demanding the return of the £300,000 settlement payment along with interest and legal costs.

Its letter to Armstrong's lawyers read: "It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent. Your representations that you had never taken performance-enhancing drugs were deliberately false."

David Walsh, the chief sports writer of the Sunday Times, first raised questions about Armstrong in 1999, when he won the Tour de France for the first time.

In 2004, the newspaper published an article saying it was right for questions about Armstrong's performance to be both "posed an answered".

The American cyclist's lawyers issued a writ and it was later ruled that the meaning of the article was that Armstrong was "a fraud, a cheat and a liar".

The Sunday Times settled with him in June 2006.

The American has always denied taking performance-enhancing drugs but chose not to fight Usada's charges against him.