SYDNEY, Australia, August 4. TAKING a page out of L'Equipe's playbook by dropping a story when it is likely to get the most publicity, Ian Thorpe has decided to sue the French paper for defamation after "publishing claims he used performance-enhancing drugs," according to an article in Sports Illustrated.
According to the SI article, the court in Sydney set a date of Sept. 22 for lawyers on both sides to meet. Thorpe's lawyer, Tony O'Reilly, said Thorpe wanted to repair the damage done to his reputation by the claims."
Thorpe previously provided medical evidence to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) explaining why doping tests returned unusual levels of testosterone, epitestosterone and luteinizing hormones, as reported here. ASADA later cleared Thorpe of any wrongdoing.
Concerns were also brought up regarding L'Equipe's timing of its reports initially brining the Thorpe investigation to public light. As reported here, L'Equipe reporter Damien Ressiot may have contradicted himself in two separate articles regarding the timing of the article.