SYDNEY, Australia, September 28. CITING L'Equipe's continued failure to appear in front of the New South Wales State Supreme Court, Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe decided to drop a defamation suit against French newspaper L'Equipe according to an Associated Press report out of Australia.
Thorpe had sued L'Equipe and reporter Damien Ressiot regarding an article timed to release during the 2007 World Championships held in Melbourne. The newspaper reported that Thorpe provide a doping sample which came up positive for "abnormal levels of testosterone." Thorpe was later cleared of any wrongdoing by both the Australia Sports Anti-Doping Authority and by FINA.
"In these circumstances Ian has decided not to pursue the proceedings as he sees little point in obtaining a verdict in the absence of Mr. Ressiot and the publisher of L'Equipe," Thorpe's lawyer Tony O'Reilly said in a statement. "Ian remains grateful for all the support that he received from Australians and people all over the world, as well as from the swimming fraternity and athletes from a number of other sports, who have let him know that they never doubted his integrity as an athlete."