Irked readers sue Armstrong after drugs admission

SACRAMENTO, California (AFP) - Two readers once inspired by Lance Armstrong's books and now irked by his confession of doping are suing the disgraced cyclist in a California court.

Public affairs consultant Rob Stutzman and chef Jonathan Wheeler say they want their money back in the wake of Armstrong's "ignominious public exposure and fall from glory," in a lawsuit filed in a United States district court on Tuesday.

The two claim they and others "would not have purchased the books had they known the true facts concerning Armstrong's misconduct and his admitted involvement in a sports doping scandal." The lawsuit also names several publishing firms involved in the production of Armstrong's books It's Not About the Bike and Every Second Counts.

"Stutzman bought the book in California and read it cover to cover," the lawsuit said.

"Although Stutzman does not buy or read many books, he found Armstrong's book incredibly compelling and recommended the book to several friends."

Armstrong was banned for life last year and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after the US anti-doping agency said he was at the heart of one of the biggest doping scandals in sports history.

The American had always vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs, but last week he admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey to using an array of banned substances in all seven of his Tour triumphs.