Thorpe drops defamation case

SYDNEY - Australia's five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe has dropped a defamation case relating to doping claims published in a French newspaper, his manager said yesterday.

SYDNEY - Australia's five-time Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe has dropped a defamation case relating to doping claims published in a French newspaper, his manager said yesterday.

The champion swimmer brought the case against French newspaper L'Equipeover an article published in March 2007 but had become frustrated by how long it was taking to resolve, his manager David Flaskas said. "Ian feels he has been vindicated and that it is time for him to let it go," Flaskas said.

The newspaper had published details of a urine sample Thorpe returned in May 2006 that showed abnormal levels of testosterone and the leutenising hormone.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority subsequently found Thorpe had no case to answer and international swimming body Fina said there was insufficient evidence that he took performance-enhancing drugs.

Flaskas said Thorpe had been shocked by the L'Equipe report, which was published after the Australian had retired from the sport he had dominated for most of a decade.

"He was determined this was something he did not want any other athlete to be subjected to." - Sapa-AFP

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