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Lance Armstrong Sunday Times £1m fraud case 'stronger' after admission

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The Sunday Times has said that Lance Armstrong's confession to Oprah Winfrey that he did take banned substances boosts the paper's bid to recoup the almost £1 million it paid out in a libel action.

The News International title is suing Armstrong to recover the £300,000 it paid him in an out-of-court settlement in 2006 over articles claiming he was a drugs cheat.

The paper wants to recoup its total costs in the case, amounting to around £1m.

Lance Armstrong Oprah interview - trailer still
Lance Armstrong (pictured with Ivan Basso and child, plus Jan Ulrich) - seventh straight Tour de France win in 2005

© PA Images / Christophe Ena / AP















Seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong was stripped of all his cycling titles going back to 1998 and banned from the sport for life last autumn, after a report was released by a US anti-doping agency containing allegations of widespread doping by him.

In a major US TV interview, Winfrey asked whether the cyclist had used drugs to win Tour titles, to which he replied: "Yes." He also admitted to using steroids and EPO, a drug that increases generation of red blood cells, while competing.

The Sunday Times said in a statement that it will "vigorously" pursue the fraud case against Armstrong following the confession.

"We watched Lance Armstrong's interview with interest and noted his numerous admissions regarding taking performance-enhancing drugs," the paper said.

"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."



But David Walsh, the chief sports writer at The Sunday Times, who originally exposed Armstrong as a drugs cheat and was personally vilified by the star, told BBC News that he was not seeking an apology from the disgraced cycling star.

"I don't want an apology from Lance Armstrong, or any kind of explanation. I was a journalist being paid to do what I did," he said.

"It was my job, I'm not looking for any thanks from anybody. Any concern I have is for the sources who told the truth and were vilified for it."

However, Walsh said that Winfrey "did not go nearly far enough" in the interview and should have pushed Armstrong to name those who had helped him.

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