Judge calls Armstrong's request 'abuse' of system

PARIS -- A court Monday rejected Lance Armstrong's attempt
to force a publisher to insert the star cyclist's denial of doping
allegations into copies of a new book about him.

Armstrong, a five-time Tour de France winner, wanted publisher La
Martiniere to insert a notice into "L.A. Confidential, the Secrets
of Lance Armstrong," with his rebuttal against doping claims in
the book.

But judge Catherine Bezio called Armstrong's request an
"abuse" of the legal system and ordered him to pay the authors
and publisher a symbolic $1.20 fine.

The French-language book, which hit bookstores in France last
week, was written by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester and relies in
part on allegations by a former Armstrong assistant, Emma O'Reilly.

In it, she claims that he once asked her to dispose of used
syringes and to give him makeup to conceal needle marks on his
right arm. She said that she didn't know what was in the syringes.

Thibault de Montbrial, a lawyer for the publisher and authors,
praised the judge's decision, noting Armstrong could have made the
doping denial when the authors requested to talk to him. They say
Armstrong and his staff did not return their calls.

In a hearing Friday, Armstrong lawyer Christian
Charriere-Bournazel accused the book's authors of "dumping a load
of garbage … onto an immense champion" just weeks before the
start of the 2004 Tour.