Lance Armstrong
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong will repay £300,000 libel damages to the Sunday Times, plus costs (Reuters) Reuters

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has agreed an out-of-court settlement with Britain's Sunday Times newspaper, which paid him £300,000 in libel damages after exposing him as a drug cheat nine years ago.

Armstrong denied the claims and sued the paper for libel, saying its story accused him of being a "a fraud, a cheat and a liar", and that its reporter David Walsh "had an agenda" against him.

The Sunday Times counter-sued Armstrong for £1 million last October, plus interest and more than £720,000 in costs, when the US Anti-Doping Agency announced it had "overwhelming" evidence of his drug use.

The cyclist, who beat cancer to win the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, confessed to Oprah Winfrey in January that his years of denying drug use had been "one big lie".

He has since been stripped of his titles and banned from competitive cycling for life.

The US Anti-Doping Agency said he had been a key figure in what it called "the most sophisticated doping conspiracy" it had seen.

Following the USADA announcement, The Sunday Times demanded the return of the money as well as £720,000 costs and branded the libel "baseless and fraudulent".

It said on Sunday that it had "reached a mutually acceptable final resolution to all claims against Lance Armstrong related to the 2012 High Court proceedings and are entirely happy with the agreed settlement, the terms of which remain confidential".

The doping allegations by Walsh appeared in a Sunday Times report that cast doubt on his first Tour de France win in 1999.

Walsh co-authored a book exposing Armstrong's drug use with French journalist Pierre Ballester, LA Confidential: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong. Allegations made in the book were reported in the Sunday Times in June 2004.

Armstrong sued within days with his lawyers, Schillings, saying he "strenuously" denied the drugs allegations.

The paper agreed to pay damages to Armstong, after the judge, Mr Justice Gray, ruled against the paper at a pre-trial hearing in 2006.

Walsh's campaign to unmask Armstrong has since been recognised by several industry awards, including Sports Journalist of the Year and Journalist of the Year.