Thorpe to sue French paper for dubbing him tainted

August 4th, 2008 - 6:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Aug 4 (IANS)Swimming champion Ian Thorpe has decided to sue French newspaper L’Equipe that last year alleged that the Australian used performance-enhancing drugs. The sports newspaper, a noted anti-doping campaigner, published a report in March 2007 claiming that a drug test of Thorpe during the 2006 world swimming championships showed high levels of testosterone.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority later investigated the matter and concluded there was no case to be brought against Thorpe.

During a brief mention Monday, the court was told the writ had not yet been served on the French newspaper, or the journalist Damien Ressiot.

But the action has to be filed in court, as there is a one-year limitation for a person to file a writ under defamation laws.

The NSW Supreme Court in Sydney has set a date of September 22 for lawyers on both sides to meet and decide on proceedings.

Lawyer Tony O’Reilly said that Thorpe wanted to repair the damage done to his reputation by the claims.

“The proceedings have not been served as yet,” O’Reilly was quoted as saying in the Australian. “Mr Thorpe is in the process of deciding whether he intends to pursue the proceedings.”

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