Lance Armstrong Tour podium 05

Lance Armstrong and the Sunday Times newspaper have agreed to settle their libel case over doping accusations before it goes to trial.

On Friday Judge Justice Gray ruled in a preliminary hearing that the article did suggest Armstrong was guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs and so the dispute looked set to go to trial.

However, a story published on Armstrong's official fan website announced a settlement had been reached.

"The Sunday Times and Mr Armstrong are pleased to announce that they have settled their legal disputes," the statement said.

"The Sunday Times has confirmed to Mr Armstrong that it never intended to accuse him of being guilty of taking any performance enhancing drugs and sincerely apologized for any such impression. Mr Armstrong has always vigorously opposed drugs in sport and appreciates The Sunday Times' efforts to also address the problem."

Armstrong always maintained that the article (falsely) alleged that he was guilty of using performance enhancing drugs.

The Sunday Times had asserted a defence based on the position that the article didn't mean that Mr. Armstrong was guilty of doping, rather that the article raised the possibility of his drug use and that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that he was guilty.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.