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July 1-15, 2004 Edition
Paris Court Rejects
Defamation CasePARIS/06/21/04A Paris court has Monday rejected Lance Armstrong’s request that a book suggesting he had taken performance-enhancing drugs include a denial by the five-times Tour de France champion athlete. Armstrong’s lawyers demanded that a flier containing Armstrong’s denial be slipped inside the book. But the judge refused.
In a hearing June 18, Judge Catherine Bezio rejected Armstrong’s request for an emergency order against the publisher of “L.A. Confidentiel, les secrets de Lance Armstrong” (L.A. Confidential, the secrets of Lance Armstrong).
The judge ruled that accusations in the book are not defamatory because a French law exempts from prosecution some allegations made in good faith. The regulation also exempts allegations that later may be proven true. He also ordered Armstrong to play an $1800 fine for filing a faulty legal procedure.
Armstrong’s lawyers are appealing the verdict.
Armstrong is in France for the 2004 Tour de France, a tough month-long cycling marathon scheduled to begin July 3.
Lawyers representing the publishers, Editions de la Martiniere, said the book is a serious work of investigative journalism.