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Italian cyclist drops Armstrong defamation charges

ROME -- Lance Armstrong's defamation trial ended Thursday after charges were withdrawn by Italian cyclist Filippo Simeoni.

Armstrong also withdrew his defamation action against Simeoni,
his lawyer Enrico Nan said.

"The case is over after both actions have been withdrawn," Nan
said.

Simeoni brought defamation charges against Armstrong following an April 2003 report in French daily Le Monde. In the article,
Armstrong contended that Simeoni had agreed to testify against
doctor Michele Ferrari in exchange for a lesser penalty if the
Italian rider was accused of doping by the sport's governing body.

Ferrari received a suspended jail sentence for a year in October 2004 for sports fraud and malpractice. Ferrari once advised Armstrong, but the record seven-time Tour de France cyclist cut his
ties with him after the doctor was convicted.

Neither Armstrong nor Simeoni were present at the court in
Latina, near Rome.

Armstrong had already been cleared in another case brought against him by Simeoni. He had accused Armstrong of chasing him
down during an early stage breakaway in the 2004 Tour de France and
threatening him for testifying about doping in Ferrari's trial.