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British paper to sue Armstrong

Lance Armstrong walks back to his car after running at Mount Royal park with fans in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Lance Armstrong walks back to his car after running at Mount Royal park with fans in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

LONDON (Reuters) - The Sunday Times is suing disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong for around one million pounds ($1.62 million) over his libel action against the British newspaper in 2004.

Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005 in October, received 300,000 pounds from the Sunday Times as payment towards his legal fees after the paper raised questions about the American's success following his recovery from testicular cancer.

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

The paper is demanding the return of the 300,000 pounds payment plus interest, as well as costs accrued in defending the case, which was settled in 2006.

A report by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in October said the now-retired Armstrong had been involved in the "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program the sport has ever seen."

Armstrong has always denied using performance-enhancing drugs but chose not to contest the USADA charges.

($1 = 0.6180 British pounds)

(Writing by Tom Pilcher, Editing by Alison Wildey)

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