Judge sides with Lance Armstrong in lawsuit alleging fraud

Lance Armstrong is off the hook in a lawsuit that alleged his autobiographies constituted fraud.
Lance Armstrong is off the hook in a lawsuit that alleged his autobiographies constituted fraud. (USATSI)

A federal judge in California decided Tuesday that Lance Armstrong's autobiographies do not constitute fraud or false advertising.

The books -- Every Second Counts and It's Not About the Bike -- include details suggesting that Armstrong did not use performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong later admitted to doping.

According to the Associated Press, a group from Sacramento sued Armstrong, alleging that they were duped into buying his autobiographies, and that the books should have been labeled fiction.

The group sought more than $5 million in damages, according to the report.

Judge Morrison England agreed with Armstrong's attorneys, who argued that the material in the books were protected under the First Amendment.

“Lance Armstrong has a right to exercise his First Amendment right to free speech,” Armstrong attorney Zia Modabber told the AP. “The fact Lance didn’t tell the truth about whether or not he doped, does not make the entire story of his life fiction."

Armstrong still has several legal battles ahead, including a case with the federal government, which could levy penalties amounting to $100 million.

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